Zeniarai Benten Shrine 銭洗弁財天宇賀福神社
An atmospheric shrine closely associated with money and success
Kamakura's Zeniarai Benten Shrine is one of the city's most visited places. Especially popular with people in the business world, it is said that performing a ritual coin washing here will multiply your wealth.
The shrine is said to have been founded in 1185
It is dedicated to a hybrid deity: Benzaiten, a goddess of music, wealth, and water, and a serpent god known as Ugafukujin
How to Get There
You can reach the shrine by train followed by a long walk or a taxi ride.
Zeniarai Benten Shrine is near Genjiyama Park, a 30-minute walk from Kamakura Station.
Come for the money magic
Legend says Zeniarai Benten Shrine was established by Minamoto-no-Yoritomo, the founder of the Kamakura Shogunate. A native god known as Ugafukujin appeared to him in a dream and described the location of a magical spring. After the shrine was established at the spot, it gradually became associated with financial success.
Zeniarai Benten Shrine occupies a cave, and its spring flows through a trough in its atmospheric interior. Patrons believe performing the ritual of washing money in the spring water will bring cash flowing in.
Regardless of the ritual's efficacy, joining the patrons in performing it is easy. You will need three candles and a small dish-like basket available from the shrine's office—and, of course, some money. Most visitors only wash coins to avoid soggy cash. After all, the symbolism is the most important thing.
First, light one of the candles and place it at the shrine outside the cave. Once you enter, light a stick of incense, offer a prayer, and place your second candle. Then comes the fun part of dipping your basket in the trough and letting the water do its magic.
Just watch the other patrons and follow their lead. When you are finished, the final candle goes to nearby Shichifuku-jinja Shrine. Then all you have to do is wait for riches to fill your pockets.