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Japan -> Kamakura -> Engaku-ji Temple
Engaku-ji Temple    Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture

Engaku-ji Temple is the largest of the "five great" Zen temples in Kamakura. The Hojo regent Tokimune founded it in 1282 to commemorate those who died during the Mongol Wars. It was destroyed and rebuilt many times and suffered from an earthquake in 1923, so much of the original structures are gone. What does remain, however, is the beautiful two-story Sanmon gate whose intricate carvings date back to 1780, and the great bell cast in 1301. The Shariden Hall is said to hold one of Buddha's teeth and is Japan's finest example of Chinese Sung-style Zen architecture. Unfortunately, this area is closed to the public but you can still get a peek of it through the gates.

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