Walk around Chuson-ji Temple and Feel the Magnificence of Hiraizumi, Listed as a World Heritage
Chuson-ji Temple in Hiraizumi. Walking through the main approach lined with cedar trees to the Main Hall (Hondo), you will reach Chuson-ji Temple. Here is one of the best tourist spots in the Tohoku region where you can enjoy beautiful scenery as well as historical architecture, and feel the eternal history. Don’t leave here without visiting Chuson-ji Temple, one of the components of the Cultural Heritage of Hiraizumi, designated in 2011.
The main approach to the Main Hall, lined with old cedar trees over 300 years old
Chuson-ji Temple is built on a hillside at an altitude of 130 meters. Walking through the main approach of Tsukimizaka slope, old cedar trees over 300 years age guide you alongside the path. These trees are believed to have been planted by the Sendai Domain in the Edo period.
They are very tall and so will keep you cool under their shade during the hot and humid summer in Japan. As you keep walking through the path, eventually you will reach a place with a great view.
The wide landscape of Kitakami River and Koromo River winding through the countryside is dramatic, and you can also see Mt. Tsurugi on your right. Most visitors stop here to enjoy the view ahead.
Chuson-ji Temple was founded in 850 by Ennin (Jikaku Daishi), a monk associated with the great monastery Enryaku-ji Temple. You will reach the temple gate after walking 500 meters from the main approach. The Main Hall is immediately after the gate. There is a 2.7-meter Buddhist statue inside, with a total height including the seat and halo of 5.0 meters. This big golden statue has overwhelming presence. The Main Hall holds various events throughout the year, such as Buddhist memorial services and ceremonies.
Breathtaking beauty of the Golden Hall, Konjikido
Take a step further, and you will find the Golden Hall, evidence of the prosperity of Hiraizumi in the past. It preserves the original form of the architecture and was the first to be designated as a National Treasure in Japan. With muted colors outside, it nestles quietly amid nature.
In contrast, the inside is gorgeous and exquisite, covered with gold leaf. A small golden hall dedicated to Amida Nyorai with several other statues together resides inside the Golden Hall with pillars inlaid with iridescent shell, which enhances the brightness. The stunning beauty of the Golden Hall captivates all those who behold it.
Chuson-ji Temple was founded in the 11th century to pray for the souls of the deceased in war in Tohoku and for the peace of society. It is now known as a must-visit place which represents Hiraizumi, designated as a World Heritage site in 2011. Why not spend a relaxing time here in Hiraizumi, escaping from the hustle of daily life?