Chuson-ji golden temple
Hiraizumi is one of the most recent places in Japan to achieve UNESCO World Heritage status, and the wonderful golden temple is well worth a look.
The beautiful town of Hiraizumi's most famous temple is Chuson-ji. Similar to Kinkaku-ji Temple in Kyoto, Chuson-ji's main hall is covered entirely in gold leaf. The hall, known as Konjikido and which dates back to 1124, is enclosed inside another building for safe keeping.
Measuring just 5.5m on each side and 8m tall, the small hall is dedicated to Amida Nyorai, the Buddha of infinite light and inside the hall includes the golden statues of several bodhisattvas.
In the 12th century Hiraizumi was once the heart of the Fujiwara shogun. When the clan fell, Hiraizumi's influence waned and the golden hall is one of the few remaining structures from this period causing the haiku master Matsuo Basho to write:
The summer grass
is all that's left
of ancient warriors' dreams.
In 2011 just a few months after the Tohoku tsunami, Hiraizumi was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.
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Chuson-ji golden temple
located in HiraizumiRead more >
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