This temple is the third highest ranked among Kamakura’s five principle temples of Zen sect, and was founded the year after Minamto Yoshitomo’s death when his widow Hojo Masako invited Myo-an Eisai to be the founding priest.
It was also repeatedly visited by the third shogun of the Kamakura shogunate, Minamoto Sanetomo.
Eisai was the first Zen priest to preach of the Rinzai Buddhist sect in Japan, and is famous for introducing the custom of tea drinking to Jaoan, as well as for writing “Kissayojoki”-how to stay healthy by drinking tea , etc.
In the hillside behind the temple are situated some “Yagura”(medieval tunnel graves), which shelter five tiered pagodas, said to be that of Minamoto Sanetomo and his mother Masako.
The temple’s graveyard is the final resting place of people such as the haiku poet Takahama Kyoshi, and the writer Osaragi Jiro.