A walk through Kita-Kamakura

Kamakura is very famous for the great Buddha, the Hasedera Temple and the Hachimangu Shrine. But there is so much more to explore. Kamakura has many small temple which are very unique.
 
 I took a walk around Kita-Kamakura to discover the area and surprisingly I´ve found many beautiful temple. Let´s take a look around!
 
Tokeiji Temple
The Tokeiji Temple is a sub-temple of the big Engakuji Temple, which is just a few steps away, and was build in 1285. The temple used to be a place for woman who could not divorce at that time, but a living with their partner was no longer possible.
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The temple complex consists of serveral small buildings and a large old cemetery. You can find a great variety of flower and plants along the way. Especially early in the morning the light at the cemetery is very beautiful . You will feel like you are at the forrest of the popular Ghibli movie "Princess Mononoke".
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Jochiji Temple
Just behind the Tokeiji Temple is the beautiful Jochiji Temple, which is also a sub-temple of Engakuji. The Temple is very popular for its pretty entrance gates and the nice garden.
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If you look around you find 3 small stone Buddha, which have the meaning of the past, the present and the future. Also you can discover several small caves with statues in the garden. After passing on of the caves you will find a statue of one of the big 7 gods. It will bring you happiness if you touch the belly. 
 
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Meigetsuin Temple
One of my favorite is the Meigetsuin Temple which was build in 1160. The big garden is very famous for hydrangeas which are blooming everwhere in the garden in June.
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From the mainhall you can enjoy a beautiful view through a round window into the back garden (which is only open twice a year in June and September). The window is supposed to reflect the fullmoon. There is a legend in Japan, that a rabbit is living on the moon. That´s why you find many rabbit statues and also some real rabbits at the garden.
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Kenchoji Temple
At the end I´ve visited the biggest temple in that area. The Kenchoji Temple is the oldest zen training temple in Kamakura. Actually the temple compley consists of a main building, 10 sub-temples and some gates.
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I was really impressed of the very big temply complex. The Temple is not so well know, that´s why it is often very empty and nice to walk around. 
 
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Hansobo Temple
The last stop for me was the Hansobo mountain, which is behind the Kenchoji Temple. The Hansobo Temple, which is originally from Shizuoka, is on the mountain. Very impressing are all the statues along the way to the temple.
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Behind the temple is a small hiking trail up to the top from where you have an amazing view over Kamakura and the ocean. If the sky is clear it is even possible to see Mt. Fuji.
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There are many other temple in that area which I will visit next time!
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Kerstin Yamane