Secluded in the hills of eastern Kamakura, Hokokuji (報国寺, Hōkokuji) is a small temple of the Rinzai Sect of Zen Buddhism. Originally founded during the early years of the Muromachi Period (1333-1573), Hokokuji was the family temple of the ruling Ashikaga Clan and was later also adopted as the family temple of the Uesugi Clan.
Appearing rather unassuming as you arrive, the path to the temple leads past a relatively modest gate and through a small garden to the main hall, which was rebuilt in the 1920s after the original building had been lost in the Great Kanto Earthquake. The hall houses a statue of the historic Buddha (Shaka Nyorai), the temple's main object of worship. To the left of the main hall stands a unique looking bell tower with a simple, thatched straw roof, which was also a feature of the original main hall before it had burnt down.
Hokokuji Temple, however, is best known for the beautiful, small bamboo grove found behind the temple's main hall, which lies thick with over 2000 dark green bamboo stalks. A few narrow pathways lead through the bamboo to a tea house where, for a small fee, you can sit and enjoy a cup of matcha tea while enjoying views into the bamboo grove. Also located behind the temple are a series of shallow caves carved into the hillsides, which are believed to hold the ashes of some of the later Ashikaga lords.
Getting there and around
Hokokuji Temple is a short walk from Jomyoji bus stop (浄明寺, 10 minutes, 200 yen one way from Kamakura Station by bus number 鎌23, 鎌24 or 鎌36). Alternatively, it can be reached on foot in about 30-40 minutes from Kamakura Station.
Hours and Fees
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Hotels around Kamakura
古民家の宿 鎌倉楽庵 - Kamakura Rakuan -Set in Kamakura and with Yuigahama Beach reachable within 300 metres, 古民家の宿 鎌倉楽庵 - Kamakura Rakuan - offers a garden, non-smoking rooms, free WiFi throughout the property and a shared lounge. This 1-star hostel offers a shared kitchen and babysitting service. Zaimokuza Beach is 1.3 km away and Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is 3.4 km from the hostel. All guest rooms come with air conditioning, a fridge, an oven, a coffee machine, a shower, free toiletries and a desk. The units feature a shared bathroom, a hairdryer and bed linen. The area is popular for hiking and cycling, and bike hire is available at this 1-star hostel. Sankeien is 23 km from the hostel, while Yokohama Marine Tower is 23 km from the property. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 43 km from 古民家の宿 鎌倉楽庵 - Kamakura Rakuan -.View on Booking.com
CASA Kamakura Espresso&BEDFeaturing 2-star accommodation, CASA Kamakura Espresso&BED is located in Kamakura, 1.2 km from Zaimokuza Beach and 2.8 km from Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. The 2-star guest house has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and free WiFi. The property is non-smoking and is situated 600 metres from Yuigahama Beach. At the guest house rooms come with bed linen and towels. Sankeien is 23 km from CASA Kamakura Espresso&BED, while Yokohama Marine Tower is 23 km from the property. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 42 km from the accommodation.View on Booking.com
Guest House Irodori KamakuraSet less than 1 km from Yuigahama Beach, Guest House Irodori Kamakura offers 1-star accommodation in Kamakura and has a terrace. With a shared lounge, the 1-star guest house has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. The accommodation offers a shared kitchen, a 24-hour front desk and organising tours for guests. At the guest house, all rooms have a desk. All guest rooms will provide guests with a fridge. An Asian, vegetarian or vegan breakfast is available every morning at the property. At Guest House Irodori Kamakura you will find a restaurant serving Japanese cuisine. Vegetarian and vegan options can also be requested. The area is popular for cycling, and bike hire is available at this 1-star guest house. Zaimokuza Beach is less than 1 km from the accommodation, while Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is a 19-minute walk from the property. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 41 km from Guest House Irodori Kamakura.View on Booking.com
Hotel Metropolitan KamakuraFeaturing 4-star accommodation, Hotel Metropolitan Kamakura is located in Kamakura, 1.3 km from Yuigahama Beach and 1.4 km from Zaimokuza Beach. With a restaurant, the 4-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. Private parking is available on site. Guest rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a kettle, a bidet, free toiletries and a wardrobe. Every room comes with a safety deposit box and selected rooms come with city views. At the hotel each room has bed linen and towels. ? la carte and American breakfast options are available daily at Hotel Metropolitan Kamakura. Speaking English and Japanese at the reception, staff are ready to help around the clock. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is less than 1 km from the accommodation, while Sankeien is 20 km away. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 40 km from Hotel Metropolitan Kamakura.View on Booking.com
Guest House KamejikanJust 250 metres from Zaimokuza Beach, Guest House Kamejikan is 1.5 km from JR Kamakura Train Station. It offers simple non-smoking Japanese rooms and dormitory-style accommodation with free WiFi and shared showers. Guests at Kamejikan Guest House can sleep in a bunk bed in a dormitory room, or experience traditional futon bedding on a tatami (woven-straw) floor. All rooms are air-conditioned. Toilets are shared. Built 92 years ago as a family residence, Kamejikan is about 2 km from both the Kamakura Daibutsu Buddha Statue and Tsuruoka Hachimangu Shrine. Bicycle rental is offered. A shared-use fridge, free-use PC and free coffee/tea are available at the lounge, and a coin launderette is available. The shared showers are open 24/7. Bodyboards and yukata robes can be rented. Breakfast can be served with an advance reservation.View on Booking.com
Guest House Kamakura Zen-jiFacing the beachfront, Guest House Kamakura Zen-ji offers 2-star accommodation in Kamakura and features a garden and shared lounge. This 2-star guest house offers free WiFi. The property is non-smoking and is located 300 metres from Yuigahama Beach. Rooms are complete with a shared bathroom, while certain rooms at the guest house also offer a seating area. Guests at Guest House Kamakura Zen-ji will be able to enjoy activities in and around Kamakura, like hiking and cycling. Zaimokuza Beach is 1.4 km from the accommodation, while Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is 3.5 km away. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 43 km from Guest House Kamakura Zen-ji.View on Booking.com
guesthouse SHIBAFUGuesthouse SHIBAFU has a garden, shared lounge, a terrace and restaurant in Kamakura. With a bar, the 1-star guest house has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi. The property is non-smoking and is situated 600 metres from Yuigahama Beach. Rooms are equipped with a kettle, while some rooms also boast a balcony and others also feature garden views. At the guest house the rooms are fitted with bed linen and towels. Zaimokuza Beach is 1.3 km from guesthouse SHIBAFU, while Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is 2.8 km from the property. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 42 km from the accommodation.View on Booking.com
Tosei Hotel Cocone KamakuraFeaturing 3-star accommodation, Tosei Hotel Cocone Kamakura is set in Kamakura, 1 km from Yuigahama Beach and 1.1 km from Zaimokuza Beach. Featuring a restaurant, this 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. All guest rooms in the hotel are fitted with a flat-screen TV. At Tosei Hotel Cocone Kamakura all rooms are fitted with bed linen and towels. The accommodation offers 3-star accommodation with a hot tub. Speaking English and Japanese at the 24-hour front desk, staff are always on hand to help. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is 1.4 km from Tosei Hotel Cocone Kamakura, while Sankeien is 21 km from the property. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 41 km from the hotel.View on Booking.com
Kiyaza Kamakura ResortProviding free WiFi, Kiyaza Kamakura Resort is situated in Kamakura, 2.3 km from Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine and 1.7 km from Hasedera Temple. Among the various facilities are a garden, a terrace, as well as a bar. Great Buddha is 2.1 km from the guest house, while Zeniarai Benzaiten is 2.6 km away. Tokyo Haneda International Airport is 55 km from the property.View on Booking.com
kamakura seizanKamakura seizan features a garden, terrace, a restaurant and bar in Kamakura. This 4-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space. The property is non-smoking and is located 1.5 km from Yuigahama Beach. All units in the hotel are equipped with a kettle. Kamakura seizan offers an ? la carte or continental breakfast. Zaimokuza Beach is 1.5 km from the accommodation, while Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is 1.2 km away. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 40 km from kamakura seizan.View on Booking.com