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  4. Zeniarai Benten

Zeniarai Benten, Kamakura

Photo © adlaw. View all images in our Zeniarai Benten Photo Gallery.
Photo © Amy Nakazawa.
Photo © adlaw.

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.

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; Zeniarai Benten, Kamakura
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Kamakura, Japan
Coordinates:35.325653° N, 139.542224° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Zeniarai Benten

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.


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

More Information

Article Info

Title:Zeniarai Benten, Kamakura
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:10/04/2009
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/japan/kamakura-zeniarai-benten-shrine/japan/kamakura-zeniarai-benten-shrine">Zeniarai Benten, Kamakura</a>