“Isolation” and “solitude” are definitely two prevailing words which, everyone has had to become accustomed to within the current context of the corona virus, (COVID-19). As this virus continues to cause havoc around the world, the idea of travel is probably the last thing on anyone’s mind. However, we can at least, take some comfort in the fact that many beautiful places await our exploration once this pandemic has passed. One such place is the beautiful ‘Myohonji’ Temple in Kamakura. Officially called; “Choko Zan Myohon-ji”, (長興山妙本寺), this temple shouldn’t be confused with the nearby, (and similar sounding), “Myoho-ji” Temple.
Despite having already visited this picturesque temple on several occasions, it’s one of those places that seem to draw you back again and again. Perhaps one reason could be the sense of “isolation” and tranquility that this temple offers since; it is located at the top of a steep slope and surrounded by a dense cedar forest, helping visitors escape the sights of the nearby city below.
Although most people come here during the popular cherry blossom and autumn foliage season, I have found that Japan’s azalea season, (from around mid-April to mid-May) is especially a great time to visit. One of the reasons for this is because azaleas come in a varying range of colors that add a level of vibrancy to landscapes which, many other flowers can’t.
Within the upcoming weeks, as Japan and the rest of the world slowly recover from the current pandemic, everyone will be looking to return to their ‘normal’ pace of life. Ironically, once this has been achieved, there will be some of us who long for some occasional solitude and “Isolation”. Where better to find this than at Myohonji Temple?
Myohonji Temple is about a 10 minute walk from Kamakura Stations. For general directions, walk along the main street, (Wakamiya Oji), and head south, turning left when you reach Honkauji Temple. From here, continue walking up a slope that will eventually lead up to the front gate of this temple
Find out more about Myohonji Temple.