Meigetsuin Temple in Kita-Kamakura

A National Historic Site meaning “Bright Moon”

By Jessica A Paje    - 2 min read

Founded in 1160, Meigetsu-in is a subsidiary of the Zenkoji Temple which was ranked first among the ten great Buddhist temples of the Kanto region. After the Meiji Restoration in 1867, Zenkoji Temple was abolished and only Meigetsu-in remains present day. Meigetsu-in means “Bright Moon” or is also referred to as “Harvest Moon.”

After paying the 300yen Admission fee, you will receive a brochure with English translations. Its cover design is that of a large, circular window and a rabbit hopping in front of it. In Japan, there is a charming legend in which a rabbit jumps into a fire to sacrifice its own body as food to a tired old man. The man, who is believed to be one of the gods, Taishaku-ten, watched in surprise and let the rabbit rise up to the moon. Because of this act of selflessness, many people in Japan remember the goodness of the rabbit every time they look up at the moon. If you look closely, its shadows reflect a rabbit now pounding mochi rice cakes, a valuable food for special occasions.

Enjoy a tranquil walk along the lush green pathways filled with hydrangea bushes, bamboo gardens, and maple trees. Listen to the soothing sounds of water streaming along the rocks. Sit by the rabbit enclosure to watch them quietly hop along and nibble their food. Find some quiet time at the teahouse or find your Zen on the bench with a view of the dry garden. Lastly, admire the beauty of the circular window that frames the inner garden ever-so-dramatically. Enjoy all of these features and more at Meigetsu-in, every season!

Access: 10-minute walk from Kita-Kamakura Station and follow the pathway signs to Meigetsu-in. There are also a few pay park lots in the vicinity, 10 to 15-minute walking distance.

View more photos of Kita-Kamakura Meigetsu-in Temple in other seasons here.

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Jessica A Paje

Jessica A Paje @jessica.paje

Originally from San Diego, California, I lived in Yokosuka, Japan, for 5 years. In 2010, I arrived with a new outlook on my future. Mainly, to refocus on family and let my curiosities take us to places we’ve only dreamt of. Along the way, we’d hopefully develop new friendships and simply collect memories to last a lifetime. Then, there was the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. I will never forget that experience and the devastating effects it had on the entire country. I asked the community, “What can I do to help?” Collecting, sorting, and packing donations, was the least I could do. I also went to California for 1 month, raised a monetary donation for Red Cross, and secured phone interviews to help spread the word on how others from the USA could assist. I was determined to show my family, friends, and folks across the world that it would be okay to return to Japan. I wanted them to know that the little things that make up this beautiful country still existed. What better way than to use a platform such as Japan Travel to share photos and stories full of life, history, and culture. It is a pleasure to say I have contributed more than 150 articles to a database that now collectively holds more than 15,000! This journey has not only allowed me to realize my initial goals, but I’d like to think that it has somehow played a role in sparking an interest locally and across the globe for others to experience all that is published here and more. I invite you to also share your wonderful stories, offer comments, and ask questions right here. Feel free to contact me at Safe travels! ٩( ๑╹ ꇴ╹)۶