While I was staying in Tokyo I did a day trip down to the town of Kamakura (this was on the same day that I visited Zojoji Temple). The first place I visited in Kamakura was Engakuji Temple.
Engakuji is a Zen temple located north of the main part of Kamakura. To get there I got off the train at Kita-Kamakura Station and the stairs leading up the to temple were just a short walk from the station. When I got up the steps I passed through the temple’s Sanmon gate and went into the main hall. Inside there is a wooden Buddhist statue, as well as a dragon painting on the ceiling that I almost didn’t notice. Engakuji was founded after the failed Mongol invasion of Japan in 1281 and part of the temple’s purpose is to honor the soldiers who died in that conflict.
Further back from the main hall are a number of other temple buildings, some of which are open to visitors. One of the halls at Engakuji supposedly holds a tooth of the Buddha, but it was closed to the public on the day I was there. Not too many people were at Engakuji when I was at the temple, which was a nice change of pace since I had just come from the crowds and bustle of Tokyo. I’ve read that Engakuji is a popular place in autumn because of all the maple trees on the temple grounds. Once I finished at Engakuji I returned to Kita-Kamakura Station and took the next train down to the main part of Kamakura.