Autumn in Kamakura – The Temples and red maples from Kita-Kamakura Station to Kamakura Station.
I had to visit Kamakura again (See previous blog about Kamakura) to do some shooting for my project. So I took the opportunity to visit somewhere new this time. Usually I would get off at Kamakura station but this time I got off at Kita-Kamakura station just one station prior and walk down to the main station. On a beautiful autumn day, this is actually a terrific walking route. On the way I got to visit four different temples in this chronological order, Engakuji Temple, Tokeiji Temple, Chojuji Temple, and Kenchoji Temple.
Engakuji Temple is probably one of the best temples to visit in autumn. The entrance of the temple itself is lined with the Japanese momiji maple. There are also momiji maples close to the proximity of the structures of the temple. The most beautiful part is the traditional Japanese building next to the pond with one beautiful momiji maple tree. It is so serene and simply beautiful, so Japanese. This temple is probably the biggest one along the route.
The next temple along the route is Tokeiji Temple. Tokeiji temple is probably best to visit during spring not autumn for the road inside the temple is actually flooded with the Japanese plum trees that bloom during early spring. The temple actually has a museum that exhibits antique artefacts of feudal Japan and at the end of the route there is a cemetery.
My favourite temple of this journey is Chojuji Temple. Here the temple doesn’t have any grand structures like the other but it is the most stunning to visit. As you enter you see a tiny shrine engulfed by a sky of yellow and red leaves, making this temple a must visit during the autumn. Apart from this, the main structure of the temple is like a traditional Japanese house. Visitors must take off the shoes to enter. At the back you can just sit on the traditional Japanese porch and enjoy a Japanese Zen garden. This make Chojuji a must visit because it provides a different experience from the other temples out there in Japan.
The final temple is Kenchoji, and this temple is probably the one with the biggest and the grandest structures of all. Most of the buildings pretty much dwarf the structures of the other temples. The wooden structures are taller and grander. The grandest of all has to be a gate with a golden door. A luxurious, opulent aesthetic not usually seen in Japanese temples.
So take a walk from the Kita-Kamakura station to Kamakura Station before the autumn fades away.