Known as the “Bamboo Temple,” Hokokuji is home to a bamboo grove filled with tall, sweeping plants. Relax and refresh yourself in the dappled light near this Zen temple.
From Tokyo, take the JR Yokosuka Line to Kamakura. From JR Kamakura Station, take the 24, 26, or 36 bus to the Jomyoji stop, about 15 minutes. The temple is a short walk from there.
Founded in 1334, Hokokuji is one of the best spots in Kamakura to enjoy a peaceful walk that will enchant the senses. Set in the hills east of the city, the temple is surrounded by jasmine and cherry trees and carpeted with a thick bloom of flowers. Moss-covered stones give the place a Zen air, inspiring many poems over the years.
Behind the main hall, there's a cluster of over 2000 bamboo plants. Winding routes lead through the grove to a tea house where you can sip matcha while listening to the wind rustle the leaves and watching the stalks sway.
The temple itself had a stash of Important Cultural Properties, but most of them are now housed at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu . After the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, the temple was rebuilt minus the flammable straw roofs; however, the original thatching on the bell tower survives, giving some insight into how things looked for most of the temple's 700-year history.