Gokurakuji - temples in small tranquil mountainside town

Hydrangea flowers at Hasedera in Kamakura.
Gokurakuji [極楽寺] is a tranquil small town on the hillside with temples known for flowers and next to the mountain beyond Hase Town that is famous sightseeing spots in west of Kamakura.

Gokurakuji sightseeing guide

Where to go & What to do?
  • Especially recommended for... Photographers
How far? (from Gokurakuji Station of Enoden Line, by walk)
  • 2 minutes (140m) to Gokurakuji Temple
  • 4 minutes (250m) to Jojuin Temple
  • 12 minutes (650m) to Goryo Jinja Shrine in Hase
Free Wi-Fi spot
  • Gokurakuji Station (*Odakyu Free Wi-Fi)
When you are in case of emergency situation here, please see the page.

Gokurakuji Station

The entrance of Gokurakuji Station.
Hydrangea flowers at Gokurakuji Station.Gokurakuji Station [極楽寺駅] is in tranquil and mountain side area, but there is Jojuin Temple and Gokurakuji Temple, famous tourist spots known for hydrangea flower near here, so it is very crowded in June and July.
There is a cherry tree in front of the station, and in April when cherry blossoms are in full bloom, a beautiful sight that looks good with old fashioned station building can be seen.

This small station building is antoher popular spot in the area and it appeared on TV drama and Anime works very frequently.

Gokurakuji Temple

The entrance of Gokurakuji Temple with hydrangea flowers.
Cherry blossoms in Gokurakuji Temple.Gokurakuji Temple [極楽寺] is in back of the station. The name of the temple has become origin of local place name and station name.
The temple was founded in 1259 (Kamakura era) by Hojo Shigetoki [北条重時].
At the time of the temple was founded, the surroundings were the desolated land at the end of Kamakura.

In the past days, the temple once owned vast land in the surroundings and many halls, also 49 temples of associated were lined. Furthermore, it had medical and welfare facilities in the precincts.
The entrance gate was rebuilt in 1863 and other buildings were rebuilt after the earthquake that occurred in 1923.

Current Gokurakuji Temple is small but known as a beautiful cherry blossom and hydrangea flower spot.
  • [Opening Hours] 9:00 to 16:30 (4:30 pm) everyday
  • [Admission] Free
  • [Movement with wheelchair] Possible (only few steps at the entrance gate)
  • [Notice] Photography is prohibited in the precincts.
An old tunnel near Gokurakuji Temple.When you are going to Gokurakuji Temple from the station, you will see some people stands and wait something on the bridge.
There is the only tunnel in Enoden line under the bridge and they are waiting for coming train to take the photos.
This tunnel have passed more than 100 years since construction and has been used even now.
Michibiki Jizo Do building.On the way to Gokurakuji Temple from the station, there is a old wooden building. This is Michibiki Jizo-do.
The statue of Ksitigarbha (Jizo), which is to have been made in the Muromachi period (1336-1573) and enshrined in.

Jojuin Temple

The famous hydrangea slope in Jojuin Temple.
Most of travellers who getting off at Gokurakuji Station on June and July are to visit this Jojuin Temple [成就院]. Here is well known for the slope of the hydrangea flowers with ocean-view.
  • [Opening Hours] 8:00 to 17:00 (5:00 pm) everyday (Close at 16:30 on Nov.- Feb.)
  • [Admission] Free
  • [Movement with wheelchair] Impossible
  • Official website
Jojuin Temple was founded in 1219 by Hojo Yasutoki [北条泰時], the 3rd regent of Kamakura Shogunate in Japan. The place is said that Kukai [空海 (a famous Buddhist monk in Japan)] was stayed and traind for 100 days.
It was burned down in the war in 1333 and moved to another place, but it was rebuilt in the original present place in the Edo period.
Gokurakuji side entrance of Jojuin Temple Gate and main building of Jojuin Temple.
It is said that the statue of Fudo-Myouo [不動明王] which is enshrined in front of main temple building, has a benefit in love, work and human relations.
Famous "Slope of the hydrangea" is in Hase side entrance.
There are 262 hydrangea trees planted here, and the numbers of 262 is the same as the numbers of letters of the "Pajna-para-mita" sutra a scripture of Buddhism.
The temple is located at the peak of 108 stairs from the road, it is possible to overlook the ocean-view scenery of Yuigahama Beach in Kamakura together with row of hydrangea flowers from top of the slope.
Slope of the hydrangea flowers at Jojuin Temple Looking up the slope of the hydrangea.
If you go down the slope, you can go to Goryo Jinja Shrine and the center of Hase town.

The place called as "Starlight Night"

Well of the star.
Kokuzo-do Temple and stairIn the middle of a downhill slope going to Hase Town, there is a small temple where a lot of white flags lined up.

A well called as "Hoshino-i"[星ノ井] (Well of the Star) is aside of stair to the temple.
In old days, here was in the deep forests of the mountain, and there is a legend that was able to see reflected stars in the well even in the daytime. So it came to be called as Well of the Star.
Currently, The well is covered and unable to see inside. And here was called "Starlight night" in old days, is a old and quiet residential area now. There are some traditional Japanese style wooden houses.

When you upstairs, here is Kokuzo-do Temple [虚空蔵堂], a branch temple of Jojuin.
  • [Opening Hours] Precincts open throughout the day
  • [Admission] Free
  • [Movement with wheelchair] Impossible
A red mailbox stands when you go down the gentle slope more. This column type mailbox decreases and become rare now.
If you turn around this corner, you can go to Goryo Jinja Shrine, another popular hydrangea flower spot in Kamakura.
Kokuzo-do Temple and stair The neighborhood of the well is a quiet old residental area
inserted by FC2 system