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Shomyoji Temple in Kanazawa Bunko

Hidden gem in a suburb of samurai capital Kamakura

Nestled at the foot of three small mountains near the sea, Shomyoji Temple was founded in the 13th century by Hojo Sanetoki, the grandson of the second regent of the Kamakura Shogunate.

Shomyoji Temple flourished as a family temple of the powerful Hojo Clan in this area. At its height of prosperity it had seven majestic buildings including a three-story pagoda. However, the temple became dilapidated after the fall of the Kamakura Shogunate in the 14th century. The current buildings were restored during the Edo Period. The most impressive is the beautifully rebuilt Jodo Garden (Pure Land Garden) with two red bridges over a serene Ajigaike Pond. With three mountains in the background, the temple is beautiful throughout the year. It is adjacent to the Kanagawa Prefectural Kanazawa Bunko Museum and can be accessed by 15 minutes' walk from the Kanazawa Bunko Station on the Keihin Kyuko Line.

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