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Choju-ji Temple in Kamakura

A beautiful seasonal temple

Choju-ji Temple, located in Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture, was the official residence of Ashikaga Takauji, the first shogun of the Muromachi period. The temple was established by his son, Ashikaga Motouji, to mourn the passing of his father.

When seen from the main hall building, the beautiful scenery of the temple grounds fill the space as if it were a picture-perfect postcard. Deep within the temple grounds lies the gorintou-style grave of Ashikaga Takauji where it is said that a lock of his hair is buried.

Standing within the grounds is the Kannon-do, the temple's oldest building. Dismantled during the Taisho era (1912-1926), it was brought here from the Ninniku Seienjou Temple in Nara Prefecture. A highlight is the traditional Japanese garden that can seen from delightful kohojo small abbey and shoin drawing room that connects to the main hall.

These days, the temple is open to the public only during certain times of the year. Temple visits are possible from Friday to Sundays between April and June and then again in October and November. This also includes national holidays.

Choju-ji Temple in Kamakura has only opened itself up to the public in recent years and you might not notice it when you pass through the entrance. When my friend and I entered, we were called out to by a man who recommend that we visit the temple.

The hydrangeas are beautiful in June and the red maples are in full bloom in autumn. I visited in fall but was a little too early to see the red maples. Still, the atmosphere was really nice and I felt that it was different from the other temples in Kamakura.

Takauji is a famous historical figure in Japan and it was a surprise to see his grave here. Very much a 'secret place', the temple really is beautiful so feel free to head down and pay it a visit.

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