Hongaku-ji Temple is located at the southwest corner of the shogunate, at a location where it is said that Minamoto Yoritomo built Ebisudo Hall to honor the guardian gods of the village.
After being pardoned from exile on Sado Island, Nichiren returned to Kamakura and began living in Ebisudo Hall, resuming his missionary work.
Later, the head of the representative of Kanto region of the Muromachi Shogunate, Ashikaga Mochiuji, built the main temple on the same site and dedicated it to the priest Nisshutsu.
Niccho, the second head priest of Hongaku-ji Temple, brought part of Nichiren’s ashes to the temple from Mt.Minobu, which caused the temple to earn the name “East Minobu”.
Niccho is also known as the “Buddha who can heal the eyes”, which has contributed the nickname “Nichho-sama” to Hongaku-ji Temple because of the belief that visiting the temple can cure eye illnesses.
The temple is busiest during the Memorial Service for Dolls in October and during the New Year holidays, when crowds come fro the Ebisu Festival, where lucky maidens-Fukumusume distribute sacred sake to temple visitors.
The grave of the famous sword craftsman Masamune, a Kamakura resident, is located on the temple grounds.