Kenchoji is the number one of five great Zen temples and this is the oldest Zen temple in Kamakura. Its first head priest was Rankei Doryu, a Zen priest from China.
What is Zen? Zazen ,which literally “seated meditation”, is a meditative discipline that practitioners perform to calm the body and the mind. Practitioners attempt to concentrate enough to experience insight into the nature of existence and thereby gain enlightenment. Zazen helps generate the energy to be aware and awake to the present moment. It is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in every moment. Zazen practice is therefore the passage to mindfulness.
Although considerably smaller than during its heydays, Kenchoji still consists of a large number of temple buildings and subtemples, and stretches from the entrance gate at the bottom of the valley far into the forested hills behind. After passing through the Sanmon main gate, you will see temple bell, designated a national treasure.
Main hall is the Hojo, which originally served as the head priest’s residence, but is now used for various purposes. You should not miss the garden behind the Hojo, which was designed by Zen master.
8 Yamanouchi, Kamakura, Kanagawa