Kencho-ji Temple was Japan’s first full-fledged temple dedicated to the pursuit of Zen Buddhism.
In 1253, Hojo Tokiyori, fifth regent to the Kamakura Shogunate, invited Lanxi Daolong to become the first priest of the temple, and it became the first of the five Kamakura Zen temples.
Located within a deep valley, it houses items like a temple bell that is a national treasure, as well as architecture designated important cultural properties. The dignity of the site remains well into the present.
Kencho-ji was originally founded as an ascetic dojo for monks in training. At its peak, over 1,000 monks lived and trained here.
They eventually fanned out across Japan and promoted the Zen culture and mindset. One item that inherits these traditions is “kenchin-jiru,” a form of tofu and vegetable chowder.
As it turns out, this everyday soup consumed in most homes traces its roots to Kencho-ji Temple.
Today, many people visit the temple year-round.
Address8 Yamanouchi, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture