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A Day Trip to Hiraizumi

Don’t be fooled by the small size of the historically rich and picturesque Hiraizumi. The peaceful town tucked away by the Kitakami Mountains offers an abundance of fun activities and culturally enriching sights to see, making it the perfect destination for a daytrip.

  • A Day Trip to Hiraizumi

    A Day Trip to Hiraizumi

    Getting around Hiraizumi during the day is easy and fun. As soon as you step out of the JR station turn right, walk over to the rental cycle station next to the information centre, and secure your two-wheeled ride for the day. For 500 yen you can borrow colourful bikes for up to three hours which should be enough to take you around the main sites in the town. You can also upgrade to an electric bicycle for an extra 100 yen and make it a leisure ride. Another option besides biking is riding on Hiraizumi’s Runrun sightseeing bus which departs from the JR Station every 15-20 minutes and covers all of the World Heritage Sites.

    A Day Trip to Hiraizumi

    A Day Trip to Hiraizumi

    A great place to start the day of adventure is the old noble Motsu-ji temple – a place not to be missed during any visit to Hiraizumi. The temple was once an important temple of the Tendai sect of Buddhism containing a vast array of buildings in the temple grounds, however its fortunes fell along with the fall of the Fujiwara clan, under whom the temple prospered. Whilst it doesn’t stand exactly at its former glory, the temple is still a fascinating historical site, and is revered for its beautiful garden – one of the last remaining pure land gardens in Japan.

    A Day Trip to Hiraizumi

    A Day Trip to Hiraizumi

    If you’re feeling like recharging your batteries after exploring Motsu-ji, we highly recommend taking a little pit stop at Hiraizumi Michi-no-Eki – a brand new roadside station which opened in April 2017. The aesthetically built main building sells fresh vegetables and locally made wine, as well as a whole host of other locally produced specialty products. The comfortable modern interior of the rest stop makes it a great place to stretch your legs and recharge before your next stop.

    A Day Trip to Hiraizumi

    A Day Trip to Hiraizumi

    Takkoku no Iwaya Bishamondo Temple is a grand old temple built into a cliff rock wall approximately 1,200 years ago, and it also happens to be the next destination on your action packed day trip. The temple was built in the Heian period as a way of honoring the ruling government’s victory over the local indigenous population of the north, called the Emishi. Whilst the original look of the structure has been lost to time, it has nonetheless been rebuilt as an impressive structure in its own right, and a wonderful place to spend the afternoon and get lost in a little slice of Japanese history.

    A Day Trip to Hiraizumi

    A Day Trip to Hiraizumi

    And while we’re on the historical vibe, why not check out one of Hiraizumi’s main attractions? Chuson-ji temple is ranked as one of the most important Buddhist temples in Japan, and for good reason. The temple was built during a time period wherein Hiraizumi was considered the unofficial northern capital of Japan, prospering more than Kyoto at one point – and Chusonji Temple was the centerpiece of the city. It stands today as a noble monument to former glory.

    A Day Trip to Hiraizumi

    A Day Trip to Hiraizumi

    After a busy day of exploring, it’s time to relax and have a nice warm meal, you’ve earned it. We highly recommend rounding off your day of adventure with a tranquil evening at Sato, a nice little restaurant serving some interesting takes on traditional meals using fresh local ingredients, run by a local young couple. The restaurant has an organic feel to it, with most things on the menu being made in-house, including the sauces and salad dressings. Sato is a wonderful alternative to the tourist heavy local soba spots, and an excellently mellow setting to chill and bask in the afterglow of an action packed day in Hiraizumi.

    Hiraizumi
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Nishiwaigunhiraizumichou Hiraizumi
    Phone
    Motsuji Temple
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Nishiwaigunhiraizumichou Hiraizumi Osawa 58
    Phone
    0191462331
    Takkoku no Iwaya Bishamondo Hall (Takkoku Seikoji Temple)
    rating 128 Reviews
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Nishiwaigunhiraizumichou Hiraizumi Kitazawa 16
    Phone
    0191464931
  • Chuson-ji Temple
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Nishiwaigunhiraizumichou Hiraizumi Koromonoseki 202
    Phone
    0191462211
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