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Chuson-ji Temple

中尊寺(平泉町)

Chuson-ji was built to be the foundation of a land of peace. After decades of warfare ravaged the kingdoms of northern Japan, the Oshu Fujiwara clan, led by Fujiwara no Kiyohira, emerged in the late 11th century as the region’s only surviving major power. Kiyohira set about founding a new dynasty, beginning with the establishment of Hiraizumi, and pledged himself to pacifying the spirits of the war dead and pursuing peace by spreading the teachings of Buddhism. To that end, Kiyohira sponsored great expansions of Hiraizumi’s temples, including Chuson-ji.

The Golden Hall, or konjikido, is the jewel of Chuson-ji’s crown. Dedicated 1124, this shrine is covered head to toe in gold leaf and lavishly embellished, representing the peak of craftsmanship of the classical period. It also serves as a clear reminder of the region’s history of mineral wealth and gold production, and by some historical accounts, may have been an inspiration for Marco Polo’s writings of “the golden land of Zipang”.

Chuson-ji’s museum, the Sankozo, also houses works of art and historical artifacts from the temple’s history, and can be found neighboring the Golden Hall.

VENUE DETAILS

Address
202 Aza Koromonoseki, Hiraizumi
029-4102 岩手県西磐井郡平泉町平泉衣関202
Hours
8:00-17:00, 8:30-16:30 Nov-Mar
Regular holidays
Open daily
Admission
No cost for temple grounds. For Golden Hall / Sankozo Museum: Adults 800 yen, High School 500 yen, Middle School 300 yen, Grade School or younger 200 yen. 10% Group discount for 30+, 20% for 100+
Other
New hours starting March 2011: 8:30-17:00, March 1-November 3 8:30-16:30, November 4-end of February Admission tickets will not be available after 10 minutes prior to the closing time.
Access 1
Via RunRun loop bus, 10 minutes from Hiraizumi Station
Access 2
22 minutes by #10 bus from Ichinoseki Station (Kokudo Minami line)
Access 3
13 minutes via rental cycle from Hiraizumi Station
Access 4
20 minute walk from Hiraizumi Station
Access 5
5 minute drive from Hiraizumi-Maesawa Interchange

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