Zeniarai Benten Shrine
(Official name:Ugafuku-jinja Shrine)
Wash money and pray for prosperity in business at a shrine which stands quietly in a cave in a mountain
Zeniarai Benten Shrine, where Ugafuku God is enshrined, is located in a cave which was made by hollowing out a rock. It is said the water of the spring inside the cave has the power to bring prosperity in business and good luck with money when money is washed in the holy water.
In 1185, Minamoto no Yoritomo, who later became Shogun, prayed for salvation for people who were suffering from poverty caused by continuous disasters. Ugafuku God had appeared in his dream 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.”
Following is how to pray: 1) Get a set of 3 candles and incense sticks (100 yen/set) at the shrine office and borrow a basket for washing money. 2) Visit the main shrine, light the first candle with the big candle there and put it on the candleholder. Put incense sticks on the incense burner. Bow twice, clap your hands twice and bow once again to pray. 3) Finally go into the cave. Put the second candle on the candleholder, wash money in the basket by pouring the holy water on it with a dipper. 4) Climb up stairs and visit Kaminomizu-jingu Shrine and Shimonomizu-jingu Shrine to pray. 5) Visit Shichifuku-jinja Shrine to pray, which is said to have power to bring prosperity in business, and put the last candle there.
On the way from the station, there is Genjiyama Park where people enjoy the nature for all four seasons. The walk to the shrine is enjoyable. Tsurugaoka-hachimangu Shrine, a symbol of Kamakura, is within walking distance and a must-see spot.
Address: 2-25-16, Sasuke, Kamakura-city, Kanagawa
Hours open to visitors: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Admission Fee: Free
[Rail]About 55-min by JR Yokosuka Line from Tokyo Station to Kamakura Station, 30-min walk from Kamakura Station