Zuisen-ji (Flower Temple)(瑞泉寺 (花寺))

Zuisen-ji is a small temple hidden away in the eastern mountains of Kamakura. The temple’s nickname is ‘flower temple’ and its flower garden in the front of the temple is the most beautiful in Kamakura. It is a branch of the Engaku-ji temple in Kita-Kamakura. Zen priest, poet and garden designer Musō Soseki founded the temple with the support of Nikaidō Dōun, a powerful lord of the Yamanashi area in 1327.

After walking up the steep way to the temple, you can enjoy a breathtaking outlook on the surrounding mountains while resting under a wisteria arbor. This spot is especially famous in autumn when the mountain forests turn a bright yellow, orange and red. The garden seems enchanted – it has lots of gnarled, moss covered trees, overgrowing flowering shrubs and scattered perennials that partially cover old stone lanterns and garden stones.

The rock zen garden in the back was created by its founder and garden designer Musō Soseki. A cave and a pond with islands were carved from the rock of the mountains. Closed for the public, a steeply ascending passageway leads up to the to a meditation arbor and view point.

The temples mountain name (San-go 山号) is Kinpei-zan (錦屏山). The direct translation is Brocade-Wall-Mountain. Zuisen-ji received it because the near mountains around the temple (like a wall) glow bright like brocade in autumn, when the leaves change their colors.

Contents of the eBook
  • Introduction
  • Historical background – Fall of the Kamakura Shogunate and beginning of the Muromachi period
  • History of the temple
  • Musō Soseki
  • The temple and garden – Ichiran-tei, Zen rock garden, Yagura
  • Plants in the garden
  • Jenny’s impressions
  • Eating and Drinking
  • How to get there
  • Literature

14 pages
51 illustrations
27.4 MB

The eBook is delivered as PDF.

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How to get there
Zuisen-ji is located in the far east of Kamakura, rather distant from Kamakura Station.

On foot: It takes about 45-50 minutes to reach Zuisen-ji by foot from Kamakura Station or about 30 minutes from Hachimangu Shrine. The temple can also be reached via the attractive Tenen hiking trail which starts at Kencho-ji and leads through the wooded hills north of Kamakura in about 60-90 minutes.

By bus: The closest bus station to Zuisen-ji is located at Kamakura-gu Shrine. Take the bus 鎌20 towards Ōtō-nomiya 大塔宮 (鎌倉宮Kamakura-Gu ) from bus stop number 4. Get of at the last stop and walk from there about 10-15 minutes.

Opening times
9am – 5pm (last admission 4:30pm)

200 Yen

EN: 710 Nikaidō, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0002
JP: 神奈川県鎌倉市二階堂710