Just beyond Jufukuji lies the only remaining nunnery in Kamakura today. Entering from the side entrance, guests are greeted by a timid brown poodle who keeps a lookout from the ticket window. The grounds are unique in that most of the structures are quite humble in stature and scattered among a beautiful garden with paths that meander gently around the hillside.
The gardens are designed so that there are always flowers in bloom throughout the year, and the temple is well-known for its white Fuji (Wisteria) vines which bloom in early May. The small bamboo grove at the back of the grounds is also quite stunning and virtually undiscovered. If you prefer to avoid large crowds, while reflecting on a beautiful Japonesque marriage of architecture and nature, then Eishoji is for you.
Eishoji was established in 1636 by one of Tokugawa Ieyasu’s courtesans Okatsu no Tsubone, who became a nun and changed her name to Eishoin after Tokugawa’s death. A descendant of Ota Dokan (who built a castle in Tokyo which became the prototype for the Edo Castle), Eishoin was able to get permission to use Ota’s former residence in Kamakura to build the nunnery. Eishoin chose a member of the Mita clan as the head nun for the convent, and for several hundred years this condition continued. The temple flourished during the Edo Period due to the strong support of the Tokugawa government.
No official Website
Open Daily 9am-4pm
Entrance Fee: ¥200
Address: Ogigayatsu 1-16-3 Map