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Hiraizumi, a World Heritage Site in Iwate Prefecture

This video, titled "World Heritage Site|Hiraizumi|" (世界遺産 平泉 |, was released by ""
It's a video showing the beautiful scenery of Hiraizumi in Iwate Prefecture, which became a World Heritage Site on June 26, 2011.

The area including Chuson-ji Temple, where Konjikido, also a World Heritage Site, is located, is a popular spot for tourists.
Hiraizumi prospered at the end of the Heian period (794-1185) thanks to the Fujiwara Clan, and many temples and ruins still remain today.
The video shares the charms of Hiraizumi, a place where even the renowned Edo period (1603 to 1868) poet Matsuo Basho visited when writing The Narrow Road to the Deep North and wrote a haiku.

A Closer Look at Hiraizumi, a World Heritage Site in Iwate Prefecture

Image of the main hall of Chuson-ji Temple in Hiraizumi, Iwate.
Photo:The main hall of Chuson-ji Temple in Hiraizumi, Iwate.

Hiraizumi is located in the southwestern part of Iwate Prefecture, in the town of Hiraizumi, Nishiwani.
In the center of the town, there is the JR Tohoku Main Line Hiraizumi Station, which you can see from 1:51 in the video.
In 2011 it became the first world cultural heritage in the Tohoku region under the title "Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land."

Kinkeizan, seen from 1:47 in the video, and Kanjizaio-in Garden from 2:10, have been designated as World Heritage Sites.
Motsuji Temple at 0:52 in the video, as well as Amida-do, Fuku-do, and Konjiki-do at Chuson-ji Temple are tourist spots that represent Iwate Prefecture and are visited by many tourists every year.

On March 11, 2011 the area faced the Great East Japan Earthquake.
As you can see from 3:05 in the video, there was a great deal of damage throughout the Tohoku region, and a tsunami also occurred centered around the Sanriku Coast in the Tohoku region.
In June of the same year, Hiraizumi was registered as a World Heritage Site, and it became a beacon of hope for the Tohoku region, encouraging many people and supporting reconstruction efforts.
After overcoming many disasters, many temples still stand today, and the sight of them gives people a feeling of hope.

Enjoy Sightseeing in Hiraizumi

Image of Takkoku no Iwaya in Hiraizumi, Iwate
Photo:Takkoku no Iwaya in Hiraizumi, Iwate

There are many sightseeing spots in the center of Hiraizumi besides Motsuji and Chuson-ji.
The ruins of Muryokoin, the Shirotoridate Ruins, and the Chojagahara Temple Ruins are important spots related to Buddhism, so we definitely recommend checking them out.
There are many temples, gardens, and archaeological sites where you can feel the influence and ideals of Pure Land Buddhism.

Takkoku no Iwaya is a temple in a rocky area about 10 minutes from Hiraizumi Station, which can be seen from 1:23 in the video.
There are many buildings and gardens great for taking Instagram photos, and if you're planning on taking a leisurely tour of the area you'll need reserve an entire day for sightseeing.

We also recommend using the Hiraizumi "Runrun" Loop Bus for sightseeing, as it's incredibly convenient.
From the station, the bus will go around Motsuji Temple, Chuson-ji Temple, Muryokoin, Hiraizumi Cultural Heritage Center, the roadside station, and more.
A single use is ¥150, but if you buy a day pass for ¥450 you can use it for the entire day as much as you want.

Summary of Hiraizumi, a World Heritage Site in Iwate Prefecture

Image of Chuson-ji Temple in Hiraizumi, Iwate
Photo:Chuson-ji Temple in Hiraizumi, Iwate

This article introduced Hiraizumi, a place in Iwate Prefecture designated a World Heritage Site in 2011.
Hiraizumi is a place in Iwate where you can feel the history of Japan's Tohoku region.

There are also many restaurants around the station where you can enjoy delicious gourmet food.
There's also "Yukyu-no-Yu" (悠久の湯平泉温泉) a hot spring in Hiraizumi about 10 minutes from the station, so consider stopping by to relax before heading home after a long day of sightseeing in the area.

Watching this video before visiting Hiraizumi will help you to understand the history of not only Hiraizumi, but the history of Iwate Prefecture as a whole, and you'll be able to appreciate your trip even more.

【Official Website】World Heritage Hiraizumi|HiraizumiNavi – Hiraizumi Tourism Association


Written By
Last Updated : Jan. 8, 2022
岩本 晃弘 (aki)
I'm a writer living in rural Japan who loves travel and food
Hiraizumi -  A World Heritage Site and Popular Tourist Destination in Iwate Prefecture  Where You Can Feel the History! Discover the Beauty of the World Heritage Site Which Has Been a Major Supporter of the Reconstruction Following the Great East Japan Earthquake
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