Expert Crafts and Golden temples
Once a rival to Kyoto for highly skilled artistry, marvel at the Heian temples and UNESCO World Heritage list sites with thousands of historical artefacts.
Surrounded by rivers on three sides along with a small mountain to the west and the “Oku Taido Road” in the centre, the World Heritage sites in Hiraizumi act as a great starting point for the exploration of Iwate’s rich heritage and natural beauty.
The halls of gold at Chusonji Temple’s ‘Konjikido Golden Hall’ honor infinite light. Built by the Oshu Fujiwara clan in the 12th century, highly skilled craftspeople covered the hall in gold leaf inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Chusonji sutras are Buddhist scriptures penned in silver and gold while the Chusonji lotus blooms each July from 800-year-old seeds discovered at the site. Find additional historical artefacts at the Sankozo storehouse.
At spring and fall festivals, you can see plays on the Noh Stage. In autumn enjoy the Fujiwara Autumn Festival parade which showcases period clothing, and the Chrysanthemum Festival which holds spectacular floral displays for all to admire.
At the base of Mt. Doyama, drink ennen-cha tea and quiet the mind with zazen meditation in Motsuji Temple. A restored structure in a rare Buddhist garden, with a repository of cultural artefacts from the temple founded in 850. Rocks are arranged to resemble coastal Iwate, and the pond is fed by a stream, the only surviving example of this design according to principles from the oldest garden manual. Get some insight into the Heian times at Gokusui-no-En poetry writing event and the Fujiwara Festival in May.
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