Chūson-ji

Top choice buddhist temple in Hiraizumi

Image by yspbqh14 Shutterstock

Established in AD 850 by the priest Ennin, this complex was expanded by the Ōshu Fujiwara family in the 12th century. A total of 300 buildings with 40 temples were constructed. Ironically, the family's grand scheme to build a Buddhist utopia was destroyed when a massive fire ravaged nearly everything in 1337. Only two of the original constructions, the Konjiki-dō and Kyōzō, remain alongside more recent reconstructions. The sprawling site is reached via a steep cedar-lined avenue.

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