Fodor's Expert Review Shofuku-ji
The monk Eisai (1141–1215) returned from a long stint in China to introduce Zen Buddhism to Japan and planted the first tea-bush seeds. Nowadays most tea is grown in other regions such as Shizuoka, but you can still buy the green tea from this region, with its legendary hue and flavor, in stores as far away as Tokyo. Eisai also established Shofuku-ji, Japan's first Zen temple, which the inscription on the main gate by Emperor Gotoba commemorates. In Zen tradition, the grounds and structure reflect the calm, austere nature of this deeply meditative philosophy. The bronze bell in the belfry was designated an Important Cultural Property.