Zeniarai Benten Shrine

zeniarai benten shrine, kamakura, shrine, kamakura shrine, Kamakura/Enoshima


Zeniarai Benten Shrine, also known as Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Shrine, is one of the most popular and unique spiritual destinations in Kamakura, Japan. Nestled amidst the serene hills, this ancient shrine is renowned for its unique ritual of washing money (zeniarai means “coin washing”). It is believed that money washed in the shrine’s sacred spring will multiply.


Founded in 1185 by Minamoto Yoritomo, the first shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate, the Zeniarai Benten Shrine is dedicated to Benzaiten, the goddess of wealth, music, and knowledge. The shrine was established after a local god appeared in Yoritomo’s dream and suggested that a shrine be built to unite the gods of Japan, thus bringing peace to the country.

The shrine is located in a small valley and is surrounded by lush greenery, providing a tranquil atmosphere. The entrance to the shrine is a tunnel-like cave, which adds to the mystical experience. Inside the shrine, you’ll find several small caves where the sacred spring water flows.

The Ritual of Money Washing

Upon arrival, visitors can purchase a basket and incense for the ritual at a nominal price. The ritual involves placing money into the basket, lighting the incense, and washing the money in the spring water while praying for prosperity. It’s a unique experience that attracts both locals and tourists alike.

Practical Information for Visitors

  • Location: The shrine is located in the western part of Kamakura, about a 20-minute walk from Kamakura Station.
  • Opening Hours: Zeniarai Benten Shrine is open daily from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
  • Admission: There is no admission fee to enter the shrine. However, you can purchase a basket for the money-washing ritual for a small fee.
  • Best Time to Visit: The shrine can be visited at any time of the year. However, it is particularly popular during the New Year and Obon holidays.
  • Accessibility: The path to the shrine is a bit steep and may not be suitable for those with mobility issues.
  • Nearby Attractions: After visiting the shrine, consider exploring other attractions in Kamakura, such as the Great Buddha, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, and Komachi Street.


Zeniarai Benten Shrine offers a unique spiritual experience. Whether you’re drawn by the promise of multiplied wealth or the serene environment, a visit to this shrine is sure to be a memorable part of your trip to Kamakura.

Please note that while the money-washing ritual is a fun and unique experience, it’s important to approach it with respect for the local culture and traditions.

Safe travels and may your visit to Zeniarai Benten Shrine bring you prosperity and peace!


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