Chuson-ji Temple in Hiraizumi was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011 as an important location of Pure Land Buddhism. Along with the renowned golden hall “Konjikido”, the temple offers many highlights including Benkeido Hall, Yakushido Hall and Hondo (Main) Hall.
The great priest Ennin originally founded Chuson-ji Temple in 850. From the early 12th century the founder of the Oshu Fujiwara clan, Kiyohira, began construction of the temple complex with halls and pagodas calling for peace through the teachings of Buddha. Kiyohira undertook the construction to honour the family he lost during the local wars of the period. Thanks to the abundance of locally mined gold, Hiraizumi flourished for 100 years during the reign of the four generations of Fujiwara clan. One of the earliest designated National Treasures, Konjikido demonstrates the craftsmanship of that period including mother-of-pearl inlay work, openwork and lacquer work. Visitors can learn about the local history and prosperity of the Oshu Fujiwara clan at the Sankozo Museum, a treasure house of precious cultural properties representing Eastern Japan’s Buddhist arts.
The temple is enchanting throughout the year in harmony with springtime cherry blossoms, verdant summer greens, colourful autumn leaves and snowy winter scenes.
The town offers several services to get around Hiraizumi. The sightseeing bus “Run-Run” travels between Hiraizumi’s popular sights including Chuson-ji and Motsuji Temples, both 20 minutes from JR Hiraizumi station. Bike rentals are available at the cycling station “Rin-Rin” located near the station. Contact the tourism centre at the station for further information.