Kamakura Temples & Shrines: Tokeiji Temple
Tokeiji Temple 松岡山東慶寺
Like Engakuji, Tokeiji is a Rinzai sect temple of Zen Buddhism and was founded in 1285 by the widow of Hojo Tokimune.
Tokeiji Temple History
Tokeiji Temple was founded in the Kamakura Period of Japanese history by the wife of regent Hojo Tokimune (1251-1284), who died as a young man.
Tokeiji became famous as a refuge for women escaping abusive husbands and mothers-in-law, who could claim a divorce by staying at the nunnery for a period of three years. Hence the name "Divorce Temple" which Tokeiji is sometimes referred to as.
Around 2,000 women are thought to have claimed refuge in Tokeiji until its rights were revoked in 1873 during the Meiji Period.
Men were refused entery to Tokeiji up until 1902.
The Main Hall and the Suigetsu-do are both of interest as is the graveyard at the temple which includes the graves of Zen master D.T. Suzuki (1870-1966) and Japanophile and educator Reginald Horace Blyth (1898-1964).
Tokeiji Hours & Admission
Tokeiji is open between 8:30 am and 5 pm, March to October, and 8:30 am to 4 pm, November to February.
Admission to Tokeiji is 200 yen for adults, 100 yen for children.
Access - how to get to Tokeiji Temple in Kamakura
Tokeiji Temple is a short walk from Kita-Kamakura Station on the JR Yokosuka Line coming from Tokyo and Shinagawa stations. Kita-Kamakura Station is the station before Kamakura Station. Engakuji Temple, Jochiji Temple and Meigetsuin Temple are all close by.
Tokeiji Temple (in Japanese)
Tel: 0467 33 5100