[Kanto day trip] [Kanagawa Prefecture] Bike trip to Kenchoji Temple! Japanese history and important cultural properties

I traveled alone on a Harley to Kenchoji Temple in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Kenchoji Temple is a historic temple that has been designated as a national important cultural property.

In this article, we will introduce Kenchoji Temple.


What is Kenchoji?

It is the head temple of the Kenchoji school of Rinzai sect and ranks first among the five Kamakura mountains.

Founded by Tokiyori Hojo in the 5th year of Kencho (1253), this is Japan’s first dojo specializing in Zen Buddhism.

At its peak, there were over 1,000 monks in training.

It has been rebuilt many times after repeated fires.

Strict training still takes place in the mountain, and it is surrounded by the solemn atmosphere typical of a Zen temple.

History of Kenchoji Temple

[Creation of the temple]

As the temple bell (a national treasure) built in February of the 7th year of Kencho (1255) says, “Kencho Zen-ji,” this temple is the only Rinzai Zen temple in the Song Dynasty style of China that was the first in Japan to be called a “Zen temple.” It is a specialized dojo for training. Throughout the Middle Ages, there were many cases in which a single temple served as a Tendai sect, Shingon sect, Jodo sect, etc., so it can be said that a josetsu with one temple and one sect like Kenchoji was extremely rare.
However, it is said that before the temple was built, the temple area was known as Jigokudani, an execution site for criminals. In this valley, there used to be a Buddhist hall called Karadazhan Shinpeiji, whose main image is Jizo Bodhisattva, but when Kenchoji was founded, Tokiyori moved the hall to Kofukurozaka, and now it is located in Yokohama Sankeien. There is. The seated statue of Jizo Bodhisattva, which is said to be its principal image, is enshrined in the Kencho-ji Butsuden, surrounded by a thousand Jizo statues.


In short, Kencho-ji Temple seems to have had an unusual stance even in its past history, where there were many religious conflicts.

Access to Kenchoji Temple

Can I go to Kenchoji Temple by Harley?

You can go to Kenchoji Temple by Harley.

You can park your bicycle in the parking lot next to the Kenchoji entrance, but it may be difficult to park Harley touring models such as the Ultra in terms of space, so please go to the paid parking lot.

Depending on the manager, you may be able to park your car for free.

Harleys such as the Softail family and Sportster can be parked next to the entrance to Kenchoji Temple. In terms of space, it’s just about the size of the Softail family.