A Comprehensive Guide to Jomyoji Temple in Kamakura, Japan

Jomyoji Temple is said to be related to the origin Kamakura's name. It is known as a high ranking temple being one of the Ashikaga clan's funeral temples (bodaiji). The main hall has a huge roof made with copper which amazes to all. It is also famous for the red and white plum blossoms that bloom between early and late February. In this article, we will introduce the history and highlights of Jomyoji Temple, as well as the method of access to it.

About Jomyoji Temple

Jomyoji Temple is located along the Kanazawa-kaido in the eastern part of Kamakura. The precinct is located in the center of a valley with Sugimoto-dera temple to the west, Kurumigayatsu to the east and Mount Kinubariyama to the south. The temple was founded by Ashikaga Yoshikane, a Japanese samurai in early Kamakura period (1188), as a Mikkyo sect temple with the name Gokuraku-ji. Post to the era, the Ashikaga clan changed the temple's denomination to Rinzai sect and its name to the present one as a Zen Buddhist temple. Jomyoji Temple was 5th of the Kamakura Gozan having a high ranking and It was a big temple with additional given facilities worthy of its status including 23 sub-temples (tacchu) at its peak.

Plum blossoms are planted on the left of the path towards the main hall. Every year the plum trees are in full bloom between early to late February.

In the precinct, there are the main hall, a tea house called Kisen-an, the Inari mountain, the Kamatari Shrine, a restaurant called Ishigama Garden Terrace and so on.

The Origins of the Name "Kamakura"

There is a flight of stairs leading to Kamatari Shrine on the manner to the far right of the precincts. It was said that on his manner to Kashima-jingu Shrine, when Fujiwara no Kamatari stayed at Yuinosato (today's Yuigahama), he had a weird dream that made him bury a kamayari (a kind of spear) in this location. This legend is said to be associated with the roots of "Kamakura" place name.

Highlight of Jomyoji Temple

The highlight is the primary hall that was reconstructed in 1756. It has a symmetrical and strong feeling of a copper-plated hip ceiling. Furthermore, Kisenan of Shoin-zukuri (a type of Japanese residential architecture) has a karesansui (Zen rock garden), which is a refurbished traditional Japanese-style house. The cautious equilibrium between the arranged rocks and the greenery is great. Also in the garden there is a suikinkutsu (entered earthen container that makes noise when water drips into it, a garden characteristic). You can have a cup of matcha and rakugan (Japanese pressed sweets) for ¥ 500 while enjoying your time in the garden. On the hillside behind the main hall is a path leading up the hill where you can look at Mount Kinubariyama and the copper-plated roof of main hall from an elevation.

Access to Jomyoji Temple

Photo provided by(all):Kamakura City Tourist Association

About 8 minutes by Keikyu Bus bound for "Kamakura-reien-seimon-mae-tachiarai" departing from JR Kamakura Station(East Exit). Get off at Jyomyoji bus stop, followed by a short walk.

Spot Information

  • Spot name: Jomyoji Temple
  • Street Address: 3-8-31 Jomyoji, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, 248-0003
  • Ticket: 100 yen
  • Opening hours: 9:00~16:30
  • Closing days: None