Chuson-ji golden temple

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.

Chuson-ji golden temple

located in Hiraizumi

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Interested in this Experience? It is included in this tour:

  • Discover the beautiful yet little-visited region of Tohoku, home to rugged national parks, historic cities, and enchanting hot spring towns.

    A Northern Soul

    The northern reaches of Japan's main island hold some of the country's most beguiling attractions: rugged national parks, mountaintop temple communities, and enchanting hot spring villages. A Northern Soul introduces some of these hidden delights, revealing a side of Japan rarely seen by outsiders.

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    Discover the beautiful yet little-visited region of Tohoku, home to rugged national parks, historic cities, and enchanting hot spring towns.

Other Sightseeing experiences

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    Take a boat trip to see the mysterious island of Gunkanjima - aka 'Battle Ship Island'.

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  • Tsunami coast exploration

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    Explore the industrial city of Ishinomaki on the Tohoku coast to see how it's recovering following the 2011 tsunami.

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