Classical Zen Buddhist temple with gardens designed by Muso Kokushi. Enjoy the maple trees and seasonal flowers.
Zuisenji, established in 1327 by Muso Soseki, is prestigious among the Kanto-jissatsu (10 Temples of Kanto) and one rank below Kamakura-gozan (Five Temples of Kamakura) among Zen Buddhist temples. Muso Kokushi (also known as Muso Soseki) was a Zen Buddhist priest of the Rinzai school from the Kamakura to Nanboku-cho Periods; he was the high priest at five different temples one after the other, including Engaku-ji. He was also famous for designing gardens and created many including the one at Saiho-ji (Koke-dera) in Kyoto, a World Heritage Site. Behind Hondo (the main hall) there is another garden designed by him. Zen Buddhist gardens, made by scraping away bedrock and arranging water, are well worth visiting. Zuisen-ji is known as Kamakura's flower temple with such seasonal blossoms as ume (plum) in early spring, lotus in summer and narcissus in winter. Late autumn is special too, as the leaves change color. The best part being when trees in the precincts and surrounding mountains all change at once (as implied by their names Momijigayatsu and Kinpeisan). Take a bus for Daitono-miya from the East Exit of JR Kamakura Station, disembark at Daitono-miya, and walk for 15 minutes.