Chuson-ji Temple in the town of Hiraizumi in Iwate Prefecture is a home for precious sutras, Buddhist images and important cultural assets of Japan.
The temple was founded by Priest Ennin (Jikaku Daishi) in 850. It was built to represent Buddhist Pure Land, to upraise the souls of those who already departed in two major conflicts at the end of 11th century.
It is included to "Hiraizumi", a spot where temples, gardens, and archeological sites represent the Buddhist Pure Land.
The approach to the temple is already a scenic spot. It is called Tsukimizaka slope (Moon Viewing Slope). The 300 to 400-year-old Cryptomeria trees in both sides of the path will guide you to your journey to the temple grounds.
There are a plenty of points of attractions in this heritage site. The temple's Hondo (main hall) houses the principal image of Shaka Nyorai (Historical Buddha). This is also where many services and rituals take place.
There is also a tea house named "Shojuan Teahouse" where you can contemplate while sipping the greatness of tea. there's also a bistro called Kanzan-tei, where visitors can enjoy local and seasonal delicacies. A study room is also provided for in-service training, workshops, and study tours.
Sankozo Museum is also present, which is home to 3,000 national treasures and cultural assets of Japan. There is also a separate repository for Sutra (Buddhist scriptures), showing sutras written with alternate gold and silver inks.
An outdoor Noh Stage also opens during Spring and Autumn Fujiwara Festivals, where the monks and priests of Chuson-ji performs.
Lastly, and the best, the Konjikido Golden Hall, a small, golden-laquered hall is dedicated to Amida Nyorai (the Buddha of Infinite Light). The temple itself is designated as a National Treasure of Japan.
Via JR Tohoku Main Line, alight to Hiraizumi Station and ride Hiraizumi Loop Bus or walk to reach the temple.
The temple is open daily from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (and closes 4:30 PM from November 4 through February).
Entrance is free EXCEPT on Konjikido and Treasure Hall with 800 Yen admission fee.
There are also events are held anually in the temple such as: New Year's Shrine Visit (January 1), Setsubun (February 3), Spring Fujiwara Festival (May 1-5), Chuson-ji Temple Lotuses (Mid July to Mid August), Fire-lit Noh (August 14), Daimonji Festival (August 16), Chrysanthemum Festival (October 20-November 15), Autumn Fujiwara Festival (November 1-3).
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