建長寺   Click to listen highlighted text! 建長寺

(kencho ji)

Kencho-ji is a historic Zen temple located in Kamakura, a coastal city in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Founded in 1253, the temple was the first Zen training monastery in Japan, and today it remains one of the most important Zen temples in the country. With its serene surroundings and ancient buildings, Kencho-ji is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in Japanese history and culture.

One of the most striking features of Kencho-ji is its main gate, known as the Sanmon gate. Built in 1754, the gate is one of the largest and most impressive in Japan, standing 18 meters tall and featuring intricate carvings and paintings. Visitors can climb to the top of the gate for stunning views of the surrounding area, including the nearby mountains and sea.

Inside the temple grounds, visitors can explore several ancient buildings, including the Hatto, or Dharma Hall, and the Butsuden, or Buddha Hall. The buildings are decorated with intricate artwork and feature traditional Japanese architecture, providing a glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage.

Kencho-ji is also known for its beautiful gardens, which feature a variety of plants, trees, and ponds. The gardens are particularly stunning during the cherry blossom season in spring, when the trees are in full bloom and visitors can enjoy a peaceful stroll through the temple grounds.

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