The temple was established on the site of the residence of Hiki Yoshikazu, a vassal of Minamoto no Yoritomo whose clan was destroyed in 1203 by Hôjô Tokimasa; the Hôjô at that time were fighting to supplant the Hiki's powerful position within the shogunate. Hiki Yoshimoto, son of Yoshikazu, survived the battle, and established a Hokke-dô Meditation Hall on the grounds which later evolved into the temple of Myôhon-ji.
The graveyard at the temple includes a grave yagura for the Hiki clan, as well as one where thirteen retainers of the Satake clan, who committed suicide after a 1422 Satake loss to the Uesugi clan, are buried. Take gosho, the wife of Shogun Kujô Yoritsune, is also buried at Myôhon-ji, along with Minamoto Ichiman, eldest son of Shogun Minamoto no Yoriie.
The Kamakura Daibutsu Mountain Hiking Course passes directly behind the main worship hall of the temple.
- Plaques on-site.
- "Myôhon-ji." Kamakura-burabura.com.