Zeniarai Benten, Kamakura

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.

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Getting There

Zeniarai Benten is a 20-minute walk west of Kamakura Station in Kamakura. The shrine is next to the hiking trail which connects North Kamakura with the Great Buddha.

Quick Facts on Zeniarai Benten

Site Information
Names:Zeniarai Benten
Country:Japan
Categories:shrines
Dedication: Benten
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:35.325653° N, 139.542224° E
Address:Kamakura, Japan
Phone:0467/25-1081
Hours:Daily 8am to 5pm
Lodging:View hotels near Zeniarai Benten
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

References

  1. Frommer's Tokyo, 8th ed.
  2. Tsurugoaka Hachimangu - Japan-Guide.com

More Information

© Amy Nakazawa
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Map of Zeniarai Benten, Kamakura

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