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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Tohoku - Iwate - Hiraizumi
Chusonji Temple 
# 1   of 5 most visited
sights in Hiraizumi

jump to:   access  -  admission  -  ratings  -  links

Approach

Hiraizumi's most famous attraction, Chusonji (, Chūsonji) was established in 850 as a temple of the Tendai sect of Buddhism. The temple came to prominence when the northern branch of the Fujiwara clan moved their base to Hiraizumi. At its peak, the temple consisted of a large network of dozens of buildings.

With the fall of the Fujiwara at the end of the 12th century, Chusonji suffered likewise so that now only two buildings from that era remain intact. Luckily, among these is the most spectacular, the Konjikido. Similar to Kyoto's famous Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), Konjikido is a hall completely covered in gold. It dates back to 1124 and stands inside another building for protection. Photographing is prohibited.

The hall that houses Konjikido Hall

The other building that survives from the period of prosperity under the Fujiwara is the Kyozo Hall, which served as a repository for sutra (Buddhist scripture). While not nearly as impressive as the gilded Konjikido, it nonetheless even predates that building by 16 years.

Chusonji has a number of interesting buildings apart from those dating back to the Fujiwara period. The main rituals and rites of the temple are performed at the Hondo (main hall), and there is a Treasure Hall that houses some impressive artifacts. There is also a beautiful noh theater stage. Chusonji's attractions are located along a network of paths that extend about one kilometer into the forest.

Hondo (main hall)

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How to get there
From Hiraizumi Station, Chusonji can be reached in a five minute ride by regular bus, in a ten minute ride by the Hiraizumi Loop Bus or in a 20-30 minute walk.

How to get to and around Hiraizumi

Hours and Fees
Hours:8:30 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from November 4 through February)
Admission ends 10 minutes before closing time.
Closed:No closing days
Admission:800 yen (Konjikido and Treasure Hall)

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User Ratings
Ratings for Chusonji Temple:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 85 users):
84/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 764):
203.  Outdoor Activities (Minakami)   85/100
204.  Yakushiji Temple (Nara)   85/100
205.  Rikugien (Tokyo)   85/100
206.  Temple Walk (Onomichi)   85/100
207.  Odaiba (Tokyo)   85/100
208.  Chusonji Temple (Hiraizumi)   84/100
209.  Open Air Museum (Hakone)   84/100
210.  Aoi Matsuri (Kyoto)   84/100
211.  Narai (Kiso Valley)   84/100
212.  Kodaiji Temple (Kyoto)   84/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 894):
288.  Asahiyama Zoo (Asahikawa)   230
289.  Mazda Museum (Hiroshima)   228
290.  Museum of History (Osaka)   228
291.  Sanuki Udon (Takamatsu)   224
292.  Mount Mitake (Tokyo)   223
293.  Chusonji Temple (Hiraizumi)   221
294.  Zuiganji Temple (Matsushima)   219
295.  Confucian Shrine (Nagasaki)   219
296.  Kyu Shiba Rikyu (Tokyo)   219
297.  Sugamo (Tokyo)   219

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English Links
Chusonji Temple
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Chusonji Temple
Official website.

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