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Chuson-ji or Motsuji in Hiraizumi? 2017/7/15 08:42
Were are planning a visit to Hiraizumi while on our way from Morioka to Tokyo (by train).
Since we do not want to rush, we plan to visit just one temple and take our time there.

Which one is most recommendable, Chuson-ji or Motsuji ?
Also does anyone have experience with luggage storage in either Hiraizumi or Ichonoseki ?

Your input is appreciated !

Karen
by Karen (guest)  

Re: Chuson-ji or Motsuji in Hiraizumi? 2017/7/15 10:28
If I had to pick one, I'd probably lean (ever so slightly) in favour of Chūson-ji, just for its magnificent Konjiki-dō. Mōtsū-ji, on the other hand, doesn't have a single star attraction, but the splendid remains of its traditional garden make for a great leisurely stroll.

Have a look and decide:

https://withinstrikingdistance.wordpress.com/2016/07/17/field-report-f...

Now depending on how much time you've got, it might be possible to do both. Just for comparison, I visited Hiraizumi on a return day trip out of faraway Tōkyō - not something I'd personally recommend (given the travel time), but it was raining in the capital on that day and I had a JR Pass ... pretty much anywhere within a few hours was feasible for me so why not, haha. Travel time aside, I had about 3.5 hours in Hiraizumi itself and it was enough to see both Mōtsū-ji and Chūson-ji, plus Takadachi Gikeidō on my way back to the station. And on top of that, I had a tiny bit of time to spare for a very quick stopover at Ichinoseki en route to Tōkyō.

Cheers.
by Diego de Manila rate this post as useful

Re: Chuson-ji or Motsuji in Hiraizumi? 2017/7/15 15:46
Thank you - this is helpful. Also the link is nice !

Does anyone have any experience with luggage storage in Hiraizumi ?

Other than that there should be coin lockers in front of the Hiraizumi station, I was no able to find out much about them or people having experience with these particular lockers.

We will travel with 2 soft shell rolling duffels (approx. 65cm X 40cm) and plan to arrive early in the afternoon.
by Karen (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Chuson-ji or Motsuji in Hiraizumi? 2017/7/15 19:28
Hi

There are several coin lockers in Hiraizumi station, including large ones, so don't worry about it. But if I remember correctly, you have to provide 100 yen coins. if you don't have change there is a kombini at the train station where you can have change.

As for Motsuji vs. Chusonji, I visited both in 3-4 hours at leisurely (does this word exist ??) pace. There is a loop bus between the train station, Motsuji, Chunsonji and other attractions. So i don't know which one I should recommend as both are very different. Chunsonji has a more "wow" effect, whereas Motsuji is vry serene.

Just for you to know, when I visited last year there were guides waiting for tourists at the train station, they speak English and other langages, and can show you around for free (of course you still pay for your tickets, but the guides has special access so you don't pay for him).

I "hired" one of these guides and he showed me around and explained many things about the temples and the city. I highly recommend you do this, if this still exists. Anyhow have a good trip !
by Vienna Logan rate this post as useful

Re: Chuson-ji or Motsuji in Hiraizumi? 2017/7/16 05:44
Thank you, this is useful information ! 3 - 4 hours for 2 sites does not sound bad, that should be do-able when arriving in the afternoon. Based on your and Diegos response, we will just start with Chuson-ji and if time permits we add Motsuji to it.

We also like your idea of "hiring" a guide (if available on that day) to explain more about the sites. What is your experience will the guides walk with you to the site (s?) Or are they expected to take the bus (to get to the sites faster) ?

We prefer walking as it gives you just a more 'leasurely' feeling of the area, and allows you to stop wherever you like.

For other readers: I also just found a google-translate-to-English 4 month old review of a local guide (through google maps - by clicking on the tourism information center at the station on the map), that the information center also holds luggage. It looks like it is 500 yen/3hr and 1000 yen/day, but it closing at 17.00/5pm.

So definitely another option, in case the lockers are all used.

Thank you !

by Karen (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Chuson-ji or Motsuji in Hiraizumi? 2017/7/17 05:09
Hi

the guide took the bus with me as sites are relatively remote from each other and from the train station. In addition, it would be more logical to visit Motsuji first as it is near from the train station and then Chusonji. If you start with Chusonji, you'll have to make two loops with the bus....

If you don't want to take the bus you may rent bikes, also at Hiraizumi station. But I doubt the guide will follow you. If I remember correctly, the guide has a special arrangement with the loop bus. Anyway the bus will drop you close to the temples; but you'll have to do plenty of walk there.
by Vienna Logan rate this post as useful

Re: Chuson-ji or Motsuji in Hiraizumi? 2017/7/17 05:20
Thank you ! That is all good information and good to know prior to the visit, so we can plan accordingly and make the most of the afternoon in Hiraizumi.
by Karen (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Chuson-ji or Motsuji in Hiraizumi? 2017/7/18 04:41
You're welcome. It is my pleasure to answer such questions. Please enjoy your trip in Tohoku !
by Vienna Logan rate this post as useful

Re: Chuson-ji or Motsuji in Hiraizumi? 2017/7/18 05:14
When I was there in April 2015 there was a fixed price taxi that I was able to take from Chuson-ji to Motsuji....it was under 800 JPY then......quick ride if you're pressed for time....
by Maranyc rate this post as useful

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