The last resting place of Hojo Tokiyori, one of the most powerful men in Kamakura’s history, can be found at Meigetsuin Temple. Founded in 1160, the temple later became a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect. It is known for its beautiful garden areas filled with hydrangea, making it especially enjoyable to visit in June or the autumn.
To get to Meigetsuin Temple, you can take a 10-minute walk from JR Kita-Kamakura Station. If you are coming from Tokyo, Kita-Kamakura Station is about a 50-minute ride on the Yokosuka Line. The temple is conveniently located and easily accessible for visitors.
Meigetsuin Temple holds great historical significance as it is the site of Hojo Tokiyori’s tomb. Hojo Tokiyori was the leading administrator of the Kamakura shogunate in the 13th century and an effective dictator, leaving the shogun as a puppet figurehead. His influence can be seen all over Kamakura, particularly in the temples he founded. Meigetsuin Temple is a testament to his legacy.
The temple is also known as the Hydrangea Temple due to its abundance of hydrangea flowers. When the flowers are in full bloom in mid-June, the temple attracts visitors from near and far. The sight of the vibrant blue and purple hydrangeas is truly mesmerizing. In addition to hydrangeas, Meigetsuin Temple is famous for its irises in the inner garden. This area is usually closed to visitors, but it is opened in June to showcase the beautiful flowers and in late November for visitors to enjoy the autumn colors.
The tranquil atmosphere of Meigetsuin Temple makes it a peaceful retreat from the bustling city life. The temple grounds are well-maintained, with carefully manicured gardens and traditional architecture. As you explore the temple, you will come across various statues and structures that add to its charm and historical importance.
Visiting Meigetsuin Temple is not only a cultural experience but also a spiritual one. The temple offers a serene environment for meditation and reflection. The peacefulness of the surroundings and the beauty of nature create a sense of tranquility that is hard to find elsewhere. Whether you are a Buddhist or not, you can’t help but feel a sense of calm and serenity as you walk through the temple grounds.
As you enter the temple, you will notice the main hall, which is dedicated to the Buddha. The hall is adorned with intricate wood carvings and beautiful artwork. It is a place of worship and a symbol of devotion to the Buddhist faith. Inside the hall, you can offer prayers and pay your respects to the Buddha.
Another notable feature of Meigetsuin Temple is the Zen rock garden. This traditional Japanese garden is designed to promote contemplation and meditation. The arrangement of rocks and gravel is meticulously planned to create a sense of harmony and balance. It is a perfect spot to sit and reflect on life’s complexities.
Meigetsuin Temple is not just a historical site, but also a living temple with a vibrant community of monks. The temple hosts various cultural events and religious ceremonies throughout the year. Visitors are welcome to participate and learn more about the Buddhist traditions and practices.
In addition to its cultural and spiritual significance, Meigetsuin Temple offers a stunning view of the surrounding nature. The temple is situated in a picturesque location, surrounded by lush greenery and towering trees. The view from the temple’s observation deck is particularly breathtaking, offering a panoramic vista of Kamakura and its natural beauty.
A visit to Meigetsuin Temple is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Kamakura. The temple’s connection to Hojo Tokiyori and its role in shaping the region’s history make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts. The serene atmosphere and beautiful gardens also make it a perfect place for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.
Overall, Meigetsuin Temple is a place of beauty, history, and spirituality. Its rich cultural heritage and stunning natural surroundings make it a destination worth exploring. Whether you are interested in history, Buddhism, or simply looking for a serene escape, Meigetsuin Temple offers a unique and unforgettable experience.
Address And Maps Location:
189 Yamanouchi, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken