Ankokuronji Temple 安国論寺
A peaceful break from the hustle and bustle of Kamakura
Enjoy some serenity at this Buddhist temple and take a hike through some beautiful mountain paths to follow in the footsteps of the founder of Nichiren Buddhism.
How to Get There
From Tokyo, take the JR Yokosuka Line to Kamakura Station. Ankokuronji is a 20-minute walk to the southeast.
The peace of the land
Nichiren is one of the main strands of Buddhism in Japan, and this temple is said to be where the sect's founder, Nichiren, wrote one of his most famous works, “Treatise on Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land.” The name of the temple is derived from the title in Japanese, Rissho Ankoku Ron.
The temple is on a wooded mountain dotted with a number of excellent hiking trails, though they can often be steep and slippery when wet. Be sure to wear proper walking or hiking footwear if you plan on making the ascent. Nichiren is said to have penned his treatise in and preached outside Gohokutsu, a cave on the mountain.
The Bell of Peace
Another cavern, Nanmenkutsu, is where he hid when his work enraged critics who burned down his home. Both caves are on the trail, as is the Bell of Peace, a beautifully cast bell hanging in a wooden tower surrounded by thick foliage. Beyond this is Fujimidai, from where Mt. Fuji can be viewed; this location is said to have been Nichiren's daily meditation spot.