An ancient stone bridge across a small carp pond invites pilgrims to Jochiji Temple. The scene looks rather like an oil painting, and there is an unexplainable hint of de ja vu in the air. Climbing the worn steps, something feels familiar among the exotic.
At the top of the stairs, visitors pass under the only two-story bell tower in Kamakura. Then immediately to the right stands the Main Hall with statues of Amada, Shaka, and Miroku, representing respectively the past, present, and future. Jochiji seems very much a temple of idols, and looking around the grounds you will find many Buddhist figures mingling with others from Japanese folklore.
The original buildings that made up this expansive temple were destroyed during the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, and the temple has been rebuilt on a much simpler scale. While the buildings themselves are not impressive, the garden behind the main hall is beautifully designed and combines with the thatched roof of the Hojo to create a stunning setting.
From the other side of the Hojo, looking through the tatami room with its warped glass panes, the garden seems almost like a Monet landscape. Stunning.
No official website
Open Daily 9am-4:30pm
Entrance Fee: ¥200
Address: Yamanouchi 1402 Map
[su_box title=”Temple Data” box_color=”#8f8c2f” title_color=”#ffffff”]Official Name: Kinpōzan Jōchi-ji
Sect: Rinzai Zen Ranked 4 of Kamakura’s 5 Mountains
Founding Year: 1283
Founding Priests: Nanshu Kokai,Gottan Funei and Taikyu Shonen
Founders: wife of Munemasa Hojo and Morotoki Hojo
Built to commemorate the soul of Munemasa Hojo [/su_box]