Zeniarai Benten Shrine in Kamakura

Zeniarai Benten (銭洗弁天) is a Shinto shrine in Kamakura, Kanagawa prefecture. The official name of the shrine is Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Shrine (銭洗弁財天宇賀福神社). It is located in a cave which was made by hollowing out a rock. The shrine is popular among tourists because the waters of a spring in its cave are said to be able to multiply the money washed in it.


Photos: Junko Nagata © Japanbyweb.com

It was founded in 1185 after Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147–1199), first of the Kamakura shoguns, on the day of the Snake in the month of the Snake dreamed of kami Ugafukujin and told him: “In a valley to the northwest, there is a spring. If you get the water from the spring and worship Shinto and Buddhist deities, peace will come to your people.” Yoritomo found the valley, hollowed out a rock and enshrined Shinto and Buddhist deities as he was told to do. Then prosperity was brought to people and peace prevailed gradually. Since then, the holy water has been bubbling up without a break and become popular among people as “coin washing water.”

Zeniarai Benten is about 55-min by JR Yokosuka Line from Tokyo Station to Kamakura Station, 30-min walk from Kamakura Station.