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The Beautiful Moss Stairs of Sugimoto Temple

The oldest temple in Kamakura

Sugimoto Temple, established in 734, is located on Kanazawa street. It is very famous for being the oldest temple in Kamakura.

Going up the stone steps, there is a small Niomon with a thatched roof known as "kayabuki-yane" in Japanese. You can see the two Nio statues on the right and the left side of the gate. They are a tad faded courtesy of the years but you will feel a sense that they are still powerful.

Entering the gate, there is a large and beautiful moss stairway worth having a look at. Unfortunately, climbing on the steps is prohibited but taking a closer look is fine. When you gaze up the stairs, you will see large white flags on either side creating a pleasant atmosphere.

There is also a shrine called "Okura-benzaiten" off to the side. This shrine is smaller but it is known as being beneficial for the performing arts.

The thatched roof on the main temple building is great and allows you to feel the history of the temple. You can also see the "Eleven-sided Kannon statue" by taking a look inside the building. There is also the "Standing Eleven-sided Kannon statue", donated by Minamoto no Yoritomo who was the first shogun of the Kamakura era. The Kannon statues with gold are large and impressive, allowing you to feel the Buddha's heart.

While you can look at them, pictures inside the building are prohibited. In the rear you will find a small shrine and some Jizo statues. After paying your respects, it is the done thing to take a look around the temple grounds.

In Kamakura, you'll find Myoho Temple, known as the "moss temple." Visitors can see the moss and the large moss-covered steps within the temple grounds. They are very beautiful!

Sugimoto Temple is tasteful with a sense of history. When you are sightseeing in Kamakura, a visit to the temple is very much recommended.