Top things to do

Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Hiraizumi

Chūson-ji

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 …
Buddhist Temple in Hiraizumi

Konjiki-dō

With gilding up to its eaves, elaborate lacquerwork and mother-of-pearl inlay, the Konjiki-dō was at the cutting edge of Heian-era artistry when it was created in 1124 – and it still impresses today. Beneath the thr…
Gardens in Hiraizumi

Mōtsū-ji

Established by the priest Ennin in AD 850 at the same time as Chūson-ji, Mōtsū-ji was once Tōhoku’s largest and grandest temple complex. The buildings are all long gone, but the enigmatic 12th-century ‘Pure Land’ ga…
Japanese in Hiraizumi

O-shokuji-dokoro Sakura

Station-side Sakura looks more like a local lunch counter than a tourist restaurant and, fittingly, the menu is packed with tasty home-style dishes. The speciality here is the handmade hatto gozen (wheat dumplings) …
Soba in Hiraizumi

Sobadokoro Yoshiie

Next to the Konjiki-dō exit, this small tourist-friendly restaurant dishes up wanko-soba (わんこそば; buckwheat noodles) by the mini-bowlful. Rural Japanese fast food at its finest.
Buddhist Temple in Hiraizumi

Kyōzō

This understated Sutra Repository guarded by Kishi Monju Bosatsu and Four Attendants formerly stored sacred sutras and artefacts.
Museum in Hiraizumi

Hiraizumi Cultural Heritage Center

Modest, friendly museum charting Hiraizumi's rise and fall, with English explanations throughout.