Engaku-ji Temple Tours
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Engaku-ji, one of the most important Zen Buddhist temples in Japan, is considered by some to be an almost-perfect example of Chinese-inspired Zen architecture. It was founded in 1282 by a Chinese monk and is now classified as a Japanese National Treasure. Located in Kamakura, it’s a convenient place to visit on a day trip from Tokyo.
Engaku-ji is nestled in a peaceful spot beneath Kamakura’s forested hills. Although its founding dates back more than 700 years, many of the buildings are newer than that. As well as being notable for its remarkable architecture and highly prized 8.5-foot (2.6-meter) temple bell, Engaku-ji is important because one of the Buddha’s teeth is believed to be housed in the reliquary. The temple has long been very important to Japanese Buddhism: during the Meiji era (1868-1912), it became the center of Zen teaching in the Kanto region. Zen meditation (zazen) sessions are still held here daily.
Tokyo visitors usually come to Engaku-ji on a day or overnight trip to Kamakura, a town dense with temples, shrines, and monasteries. You can also get there independently on the local train or with an organized guided day tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Engaku-ji is ideal for religious architecture and history enthusiasts.
- There is a small entrance fee to enter the temple.
- Beside the temple is a teahouse where you can enjoy Japanese tea and sweets with a view.
- Not all of the 18 temples within the complex are open to visitors, as this is a working monastery.
- While some ramps have been added for wheelchair users, there are many uneven surfaces and steps, so comprehensive access is difficult.
How to Get There
Engaku-ji is just beside Kita-Kamakura Station on the JR Yokosuka Line, an easy 90-minute train journey from central Tokyo.
When to Get There
The temple is open every day from 8am to 4:30pm March to November, and 8am to 4pm December to February. Fall is perhaps the prettiest time to visit Engaku-ji, as the colorful autumn leaves—most stunning in early December, especially the maples—liven up the simple buildings.
Visit the Daibutsu, the Giant Buddha
While Engaku-ji is not normally packed with visitors, the Daibutsu at nearby Kotoku-in temple is. The 37-foot (11.4-meter) bronze Buddha statue, sitting outside in a meditative pose, is one of the most iconic sights of Japan and shouldn’t be missed when visiting Kamakura. You can easily combine visits to Engaku-ji, the Daibutsu, and other Kamakura sights in one day.
Address: Tokyo 247-0247, Japan
2 Tours and Activities to Experience Engaku-ji Temple
If you are interested in a more efficient way to explore Kamakura, with a nationally-licensed and experienced multilingual tour guide, this value-packed trip is a fantastic way of experiencing Kamakura! Just one hour from Tokyo, Kamakura is the home of the samurai and of great cultural importance to Japan. To start your day, meet your guide at your hotel, or anywhere at your convenience. Let us know what you would like to experience, what time you would like to start your tour, and where you are staying. Your nationally-licensed guide will customize your six-hour tour according to your interests! Note*1: Please select your must-see spots from a list in the tour information to create your customized itinerary. Note*2: The Nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification is issued by the Japanese government requires a good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history.
Price varies by group size
Price varies by group size
If you have only one day to visit somewhere outside of Tokyo, Kamakura is the place to go! See the ancient capital of Kamakura, a seaside town of temples and wooded hills sometimes referred to Kyoto of eastern Japan. Then check out the bay area of Yokohama, Japan’s second-largest city. We have a list of professional guides in different languages to make your day fun and memorable. A chauffeured private tour is a perfect way to see Kamakura and Yokohama as it is not easy to get around in these two cities on your own using public transport in a limited time. Enjoy round trip transportation from your accommodation in a private vehicle. Relax on a full day excursion without being pressed for time or annoyed by others who you don’t know as it happens in group tours. *Select the places you want to visit and make a total of 6 hours *Customize your Kamakura, Yokohama tour according to your interests *Guide can give you recommendations to build your own itinerary *Round trip transportation
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Engaku-ji Temple?
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