Top most beautiful temples and shrines in Kanagawa

Kanagawa Prefecture has many beautiful temples and shrines to offer. Below are the top ones you should visit. Many of them are in Kamakura which is about 1.5 hours from Tokyo, so take a day trip down there to enjoy the sights. Another highlight are the cherry blossoms in the spring, hydrangeas in the early summer rainy season, and the golden autumn foliage on the temple/shrine grounds, which make for a beautiful scene together with the old cultural buildings.

Hasedera Temple
Hasedera Temple
Hasedera Temple was constructed on the mountainside with views of both the ocean and city. The beautiful garden is blooming with hydrangeas and irises all year round. And because of this, the temple has also become known as the “flower temple”.
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Hakone Shrine
Hakone Shrine
This spiritual spot representing Hakone, is popular all year round. Many women come to pray there as it is famous as a shrine of marriage.
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Great Buddha(Kotoku-in)
Great Buddha(Kotoku-in)
Kamakura is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, nestled between the mountains and the ocean. It is an area that is abundant in nature. The Great Buddha of the Kotoku-in Temple has been designated as a National Treasure.
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Hokoku-ji Temple
Hokoku-ji Temple
Hokoku-ji is a Zen temple that was established 700 years ago. It has been carefully maintained over a long period of time and the lush bamboo grove will take your breath away. Drink some matcha tea during a tea ceremony and take some time to quietly view the forest.
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Kencho-ji Temple
Kencho-ji Temple
Kencho-ji is Japan’s oldest Zen temple, built in the 13th century. Experience the serene world of Zen while walking through the large grounds of this awe inspiring temple and viewing the garden of the chief priest.
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Tsurugaoka Hachimangu
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu is a shrine located in the city of Kamakura, west of Tokyo. It was established in 1180 by Yoritomo Minamoto, the first shogun of the Kamakura Era. It is one of the most famous shrines among the 80,000 shrines in Japan.
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Zeniarai Benten Shrine
Zeniarai Benten Shrine
Zeniarai has the meaning of “washing money”. The legend of this popular shrine is that if you wash your money in the spring water, it will multiply. Try praying at the spring inside the mysterious cave.
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Meigetsu-in Temple
Meigetsu-in Temple
This temple received two stars in the Michelin Green Guide. Meigetsu-in Temple is famous for its hydrangeas, but what is surprisingly not very well known is that the rear garden is covered in beautifully blooming irises.
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Sasuke-Inari Shrine
Sasuke-Inari Shrine
There’s a rising tunnel of over 100 red torii gates. Sasuke-Inari Shrine is a branch shrine of the Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto. If you are lucky, you may even encounter a squirrel.
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Tokei-ji Temple
Tokei-ji Temple
In an era when women could not divorce, Tokei-ji gave refuge to many women who fled to the temple under a law allowing divorce if they joined the temple. Currently surrounded by lush greenery, it has received three stars in the Michelin Green Guide.
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Jochi-ji Temple
Jochi-ji Temple
There are many highlights such as Kamakura’s sole Chinese-style Shoromon gate, statues that have been designated by Kanagawa Prefecture as Important Cultural Properties, and the statue of Hotei-son, one of the Seven Lucky Gods. There is a deep feeling of being inside a mountain with a distinct atmosphere.
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Jufuku-ji Temple
The temple is where Masako Hojo, the wife of the first shogun of the Kamakura shogunate, Yoritomo Minamoto, is laid to rest. Except for special times (New Year’s Day and Golden Week), visitors are not allowed past the Chuumon gate.
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Myohon-ji Temple
Myohon-ji Temple
The place where Hiki’s Rebellion took place in 1203. Hokke-do Hall was constructed on the Hiki residential land which had been destroyed by the shogun, and it was here that the mourning for the spirits began.
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Ankokuron-ji Temple
Ankokuron-ji Temple
Nichiren, who was considered radical and even extremist at times, came to Kamakura and initially established a place of meditation. Famous writings remain of the temple that became a base for his 20 years of missionary work.
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Jomyoji Temple
Jomyoji Temple
The Kencho-ji temple school of the Rinzai sect of Buddhism was built in 1188. The main hall, which was rebuilt in 1756, and a Japanese rock garden can be observed. You can enjoy a cup of matcha tea viewing the garden, and the in-temple restaurant with an English-style garden is popular. While admiring this garden at the restaurant, visitors can also enjoy cuisine using local ingredients.
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