Hiraizumi – Chusonji Temple

Hiraizumi is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. Chusonji’s Konjikido is a must-see. Its temples and gardens offer a peaceful retreat from modern life. Plan your visit to experience the serene charm of this ancient town.


Hiraizumi is located in Iwate Prefecture in northern Japan. It is a small town rich in history and culture. This UNESCO World Heritage site offers a glimpse into Japan’s past.

Hiraizumi was the political and cultural center of the Oshu region in the late Heian period. It thrived under the Fujiwara clan. The town’s temples and gardens reflect Pure Land Buddhism, aiming to recreate an ideal Buddhist world.

Must-Visit Attractions

Chusonji Temple

Chusonji Temple is Hiraizumi’s most famous temple. Founded in 850 by Ennin, it became the Fujiwara clan’s family temple. The main attraction is Konjiki-do, a golden hall that houses the remains of the Fujiwara lords. The hall is covered in gold leaf and decorated with mother-of-pearl inlays.

Konjikido, Chusonji Temple, Hiraizumi

Chusonji Temple official WEB site

Motsuji Temple

Motsuji is known for its beautiful garden, representing the Pure Land of Amida Buddha. The garden features a large pond, islands, and bridges. It is especially stunning in spring with cherry blossoms and in autumn with colorful foliage.

Motsuji Temple in Hiraizumi

Mostsuji Temple official WEB site

Takkoku no Iwaya

Takkoku no Iwaya is a cave temple dedicated to Bishamonten. It is carved into a cliff face and has a unique architectural style. The temple’s origin dates back over 1,200 years. The main hall houses an impressive statue of Bishamonten.

Takkokuno Iwaya

Agency for Cultural Affairs official WEB site

Getting There

Hiraizumi is easily accessible from major cities. From Tokyo, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Ichinoseki Station, then transfer to the JR Tohoku Line to Hiraizumi Station. The journey takes about three hours. From Sendai, take the same route, which takes about an hour and a half.

Hiraizumi Tours

Not many tours are available. Hiraizumi Full-Day Private Trip with Government-Licensed Guide is a good one.

Best Time to Visit

Visit Hiraizumi in spring for cherry blossoms or in autumn for colorful leaves. Both seasons offer beautiful scenery and pleasant weather. The annual Fujiwara Festival in May is another highlight, featuring traditional music, dance, and parades.

Nearby Day Trips

Geibikei Gorge

A short trip from Hiraizumi, Geibikei Gorge offers scenic boat rides along a picturesque river flanked by towering cliffs. There, you can enjoy the serene beauty and spot local wildlife.



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