Temple Garden

Engaku-ji starts where Kita-Kamakura Station ends. In fact, it used to own the land upon which the station sits, but had to sell it when the railroad went through. The pond beside the station—cut off from the temple grounds by a narrow road—is still part of Engaku-ji, though. This raked-pebble garden is lovely to look … Continue reading Temple Garden

Tanuki of Nightmares

Tanuki statues are usually fairly cute, but this one is the thing of nightmares. A wild animal native to Japan, tanuki are called raccoon dogs in English, (though they're not related to raccoons). In Japanese folklore, they're mischevious shape-shifters. Statues of them are all over the place, but the ones in this post are from … Continue reading Tanuki of Nightmares

Big Bell

This impressive bell was made in 1301, and sits on a hill at the top of a rather long set of stone steps at Engaku-ji. Engaku-ji is the second of the five great Zen temples in Kamakura. Its entrance is right at Kita-Kamakura Station (apparently, it lost some of its land in order for the … Continue reading Big Bell