Zeniarai Benzaiten in Kamakura
d0160582_1172693.jpgI visited Kamakura (Kanagawa prefecture, which is next to Tokyo) the other day. I’ve visited there many times before but every time I go there, it reminds me that Kamakura is one of the nicest places in Japan. Especially after getting off the train at Kita Kamakura eki (North Kamakura Station), you will notice that there is hardly any noise and you are able to breathe in clear air.

d0160582_1171182.jpgAt Kamakura station, I visited Zeniarai Benzaiten (Zeniarai Shrine) which is about a 30 minute walk from the station. I was surprised by the entrance of the shrine. Climbing up the steep slope, I saw an entrance that looked as if the cave was on a slope in the mountain. I wondered whether this was an air-raid shelter or something? Another visitor was also surprised to see the entrance and they were observing for a-while before taking pictures.
Let’s go in!
And we followed the bright light.
In the tunnel, you will find the tunnel of the torii*.

d0160582_118532.jpgNear the house for incense, there were visitors who were looking up as the smoke blew past them. It was interesting to see everyone's reaction to incense smoke as the reaction is the opposite when seeing people react to cigarette smoke.

d0160582_1182977.jpgThe former name of this shrine is Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Jinja(shrine). The story behind the shrine is that as Mr.Yoshitune Minamoto was sleeping in the day and the year of the Snake(1185), he was taught that "If you hold a mass with this special water, the whole country will be peaceful". Afterwards, Mr.Tokitune Hojo washed money with the water, after having prayed for family prosperity.

*Torii : Torii literally means "a perch for birds." It is said that there were originally perches for the roosters people offered to shrines. A torii is a symbolic Shinto shrine gate which consists of two upright pillars connected by two horizontal beams on top. It marks the entrance to a sacred area.

What is going to happen then? Please enjoy next time!

Zeniarai Benzaiten
2-25-16 Sasuke, Kamakura-shi, Kamakura
TEL: 0467-25-1081
by TOKYO_YUCa_ENG | 2010-06-21 19:34 | (Suburbs)

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