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Temple Spots in Iwate Area

  • Chuson-ji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Nishiwaigunhiraizumichou Hiraizumi Koromonoseki 202
    This temple was reportedly founded in 850 by Jikaku Daishi, a monk associated with Enryaku-ji Temple in Hieizan (Mt. Hiei). Fujiwara Kiyohira is said to have laid the substantial foundation of the temple. Sights on the premises include the Konjikido, which has been designated as a National Treasure, and the Sankozo, which houses a collection of more than 3,000 cultural properties left by the Oshu Fujiwara lords. In 2011 the cultural heritage of Hiraizumi including Chuson-ji Temple was registered as a World Heritage Site.
  • Motsuji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Nishiwaigunhiraizumichou Hiraizumi Osawa 58
    This temple that belongs to the Tendai sect was constructed in 850. It is said to have been founded by the priest Jikaku Daishi. Sights to see include the Jodo (Pure Land) garden that is arranged to unify the Buddhist temple and garden pond. As a valuable garden that even now conveys the thoughts and techniques of the Sakutei-ki, the oldest book concerning gardens in Japan, this is a symbol of Motsu-ji Temple. The temple premises have been designated as a Special Historic Site, and the Ennen-no-mai (a dance performed here for peace and longevity) has been designated as an Important Intangible Folk Culture Property.
  • Jokenji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Tonoshi Tsuchibuchichoutsuchibuchi 7-50
    This is a temple of the Soto school (of Zen Buddhism) that was established in 1490. 3.5-meter statues of the two guardian Deva kings flank the main temple gate. It is also known as the kappa komainu (kappa guardian dog) temple based on a legend that kappa (a mythical water-dwelling creature) that lived in the river to the south of the temple once helped extinguish a fire at the temple and became komainu (a guardian lion-dog).
  • Daijiji Temple
    6 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Daijijichou 5-6
    The Daijiji Temple, founded in 1673, is famous for its temple gate built in a style known as dragon palace gate. The temple is constructed with gable pantile roofing and the large lower walls are finished in white lime plaster with curved soil wall edges, a style usually seen only on the continent, such as in China. The temple building burnt down in the Meiji fire of 1884 but it was rebuilt and designated as a protected building in Morioka City in 1991. The surrounding area including the temple grounds is also a protected environmental area. The principal object of worship at Daijiji Temple is the bodhisattva Nyoirin Kanzeon.

    盛岡駅からポチポチと歩きながらたどりついた寺です。池ノ下寺院群地区の一角を占めており、とても静かな境内です。早朝の雨上がりで、新緑がみずみずしく感じられました。原敬の菩提寺で有名ですが、寺院建築では山門に特徴があります。一瞬、宇治の万福寺と同じだ! と思いました。とすると黄檗宗(おうばくしゅう)? 日本では黄檗宗の寺院が少ないだけに貴重な存在です。盛岡市の保存建造物に指定されています。

  • Kokusekiji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Mizusawa Kuroishi-cho Yamanouchi, Oshu, Iwate Prefecture
    This temple is located in Mizusawa Ward, Oshu City. A Tendai sect temple in honor of the Buddha of healing and medicine, it is said to have been opened by the Japanese Buddhist priest Gyoki as the first temple in the Tohoku region in 729. The wooden seated statue of Bhaisajyaguru is designated as an Important Cultural Property, and the Somin Festival held on the seventh and eighth days of the first month of the lunar calendar is a designated Selected Intangible Folk Cultural Property.
  • Daibainengezan Enzu Shoboji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Prefecture Oshu City Mizusawa Kuroishi Town Tadashi Temple 129
    This temple is located in Mizusawa Ward of Oshu City, Iwate Prefecture. In honor of Nyoirin Kannon, it opened as the first temple of the Soto sect in the Tohoku region in 1348. It is also known for having Japan's largest thatched roof over its main temple. In addition, the main temple and other parts were designated as a national Important Cultural Property in 1990.
  • Takkoku no Iwaya Bishamondo Hall (Takkoku Seikoji Temple)
    128 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Nishiwaigunhiraizumichou Hiraizumi Kitazawa 16
    This temple of the Tendai sect of Buddhism is located in the Hiraizumi-cho area of Nishiwai County, Iwate Prefecture. This cascade temple worships Bishamonten, which is in the Bishamondo Hall, and is a nationally designated Historic Site. In addition, it is also famous for having a torii gate, which is rare in temples. Many tourists visit to enjoy the different scenery of every season.

    This temple does not take that long to visit with its main feature being the Buddha carved into the cliff face. Nevertheless it played an important role in the history of this area and has impressive...

  • Tendaiji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Ninoheshi Jouboujimachi Oyamakubo 33
    This Tendai sect temple enshrines a standing statue of Kannon in the Joboji Town area of Ninohe City, Iwate Prefecture. Famous for the hydrangeas that are best seen in the middle of June, the Ajisai Festival is held every July. In addition, it is the 33rd temple of the Oshu thirty-three holy places of Kannon Pilgrimage, and many worshippers come to this temple as the final place on their pilgrimages.
  • Kiyomizu-dera Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Hanamaki-shi Ota 21-5-1
    A Tendai Buddhist temple located a 24-minute drive from Hanamaki Station on the Tohoku Main Line in Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture. The temple was founded to pray for Sakanoue no Tamuramaro in 807 and is considered one of Japan's three Kiyomizu temples. The temple is also the first temple on the Oshu 33 Kannon Pilgrimage and the Togoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage. The temple's principal object of worship is an eleven-faced statue of Kannon kept in the Kannondo hall. Other highlights include the Deva gate, which enshrines the statue of Kannon which is on the Togoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage; the Jigansuido hall, which is said to miraculously heal eye diseases; and a Japanese cedar split into four trunks which is said to bless worshippers with children.
  • Bishamon-do Temple
    7 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Hanamakishi Touwachoukitanarushima 5-1
    A mixed Shinto shrine and Buddhist temple located a short drive from the Towa Interchange on the Kamaishi Expressway in Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture. The temple's statue of Vaisravana is believed to have been created in the mid-Heian period to protect the northern side of the area; standing 4.73-meter-tall, the statue is made of a single piece of Japanese zelkova and is the largest of its kind in Japan. This statue has also been designated a National Important Cultural Property. The Bishamondo hall has similarly been designated an Important Cultural Property and the hipped roof building is an excellent example of Muromachi period architecture. During golden week each year, the temple holds the Bishamon Festival.


  • Dewa-jinja Shrine, Haguro Boulders
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Tono-shi Ayaoricho Nissato 8-chiwari
    Huge boulders on the grounds of Dewa-jinja Shrine, which honors the Shinto deity Uka-no-Mitama-no-Mikoto. Dewa-jinja Shrine is registered as an Oshu Heritage Site. Since it is located at the summit of Mt. Haguro, to see the boulders you need to pass through Mt. Haguro's torii gate and climb a trail. A legend says the boulders were once even larger but were kicked by a tengu (long nosed goblin), breaking them into smaller pieces. There are a number of the Haguro Boulders, starting with a nine-meter high cracked megalith.
  • Hodohora Konsei-sama
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Tono-shi Tonocho 2-chiwari 91
    A sub-shrine on the grounds of Hodohora Inari-jinja Shrine that honors a Shinto fertility god. Since it is located in the hills behind Tono High School, you need to climb a trail through the woods for about 15 minutes to reach it. Tradition says it was built by the Asonuma clan. It has nine phallic symbols carved of stone and another nine carved of wood. They are said to symbolize fertility and family prosperity. It's believed that a visit here will bless the worshiper with children and make her immune from women's diseases.
  • Fukusenji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Tono-shi Matsuzakicho Komagi 7-57
    A Shingon Buddhist temple that was founded in 1912. Its eleven-faced wooden image of the Bodhisattva Kannon is 17 meters in high, making it the largest wooden Buddhist statue in Japan. The grounds of the temple are large enough to visit by car. There are multiple must-sees at the entrance, including a Ryugumon Gate, a Niomon Gate with statues of Nio guardians, an Inari Shrine, a Jizo Hall, a two-storied pagoda, a Bishamon Hall, and a five-storied Pagoda. Famous for cherry blossoms and colorful autumn leaves, the place attracts many visitors to enjoy the beautiful seasonal scenery.
  • Yamazaki no Konsei-sama
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Tono-shi Tsuchibuchicho Tochinai 16-chiwari
    A Shinto shrine on a mountainside about 12 kilometers southwest of JR Tono Station. Konsei-sama is a Shinto god worshiped in the Tono region who is thought to bestow children and good harvests. The god makes an appearance in the Legends of Tono. The shrine contains a roughly 1. 5-meter phallic symbol made of stone. It is said that polishing it with a scrub brush will reward the worshiper with children, alleviate feminine discomfort, etc. While it was lost for a period, it was discovered during construction in recent times and re-enshrined. The Konsei Festival is held annually on May 5th.
  • Shinshoji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Hanamaki-shi Ishigami Cho 389
    A Buddhist temple about a five-minute drive from Hanamaki-Minami Interchange on the Tohoku Expressway. It is said that the temple was built by Nanbu Masamitsu in 1394. It was also Miyazawa Kenji's family temple, and his grave is there along with tombs of the Miyazawa clan. Through this connection with him, it's considered a powerful place for students wishing to improve academically and pray for passing examinations. It's also a well-known cherry blossom spot with numerous weeping cherry trees around the precincts.
  • Jokoji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Morioka-shi Hinoto Furuyashiki 71
    "This temple is located in Furuyashiki, Hinoto, Tamayama Ward, Morioka City. The area is known as the birthplace of poet IshikawaTakuboku (1886-1912). The room within the precincts where Takuboku stayed has been partly restored and is labeled with a plaque that his close friend, KyosukeKindaichi, wrote in his own hand: ""Ishikawa Takuboku Birthplace.”"
  • Choanji Temple
    2 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Ofunato-shi Hikoroichicho Choanji 57
    This temple is located in Choanji, Hikoroichi-cho, Ofunato City. It is said that it was founded about 900 years ago by Jiromaru Tamemasa, the fourth-generation great-grandson of Kon no Tametoki, head of Kesen County. The temple was destroyed by fire once and rebuilt at the end of the 18th century. The temple gate was condemned by the Date clan for using zelkova, which was forbidden at that time, and because it permitted on the condition that construction was canceled, it is a special gate without doors or fences.

    Choan-ji Temple is believed to have been built around 900 years ago. It's a great example of Kesen Carpentry. It burnt down in 1556. The front gate was rebuilt in 1798 and stands 17.5 metres high. A...

  • Daishoji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Ichinoseki-shi Hanaizumicho Oimatsu Mizusawa Yashiki 58
  • Dokeiji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Ichinoseki-shi Hanaizumicho Oimatsu Kan Daira 31
  • Shinzan Kannondo
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Ichinoseki-shi Hanaizumicho Kazawa Nagasawa Mae 46

Iwate Main Areas


A northern Tohoku prefecture promising peace and quiet, Iwate is sparsely populated, replacing people with snow-capped mountains, history-rich sites, and fields of crops that are to thank for the region’s delicious local cuisine. Meander along the three-city Golden Route, where you’ll visit the grand Buddhist temples of Hiraizumi and the Tono folk villages before tasting the three famed noodle dishes of Morioka.

Iwate Photo Album

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