The Zeniarai Benten Shrine is a bit more out of the way than the other Kamakura temples and shrines, but could be worth the trip in more ways than one! According to traditional belief, if you wash your money in spring water in a small cave on the shrine grounds, it will double or triple itself later on. (Zeniarai means "coin washing.")
Minamoto Yoritomo, the founder of the Kamakura government, ordered the shrine's construction in the 12th century after a god appeared in a dream and recommended the shrine to bring peace to the country. It was dedicated to the Shinto goddess of good fortune.
Because the dream occurred on the day of the snake in the month of the snake of the year of the snake (in the Asian zodiac), the shrine was later also dedicated to Benten, a Buddhist goddess associated with snakes. The shrine is especially popular (and effective) on the day of the snake.
Zeniarai Benten is a rare surviving example of the fusion between Shinto and Buddhism, which was virtually eradicated under the Meiji government for nationalistic reasons.
Quick Facts on Zeniarai Benten
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||35.325653° N, 139.542224° E|
|Hours:||Daily 8am to 5pm|
|Lodging:||View hotels near Zeniarai Benten|
Map of Zeniarai Benten, Kamakura
Below is a location map and aerial view of Zeniarai Benten. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.