Hiraizumi - The Legend of Zipangu, the Land of Gold

by Nobu - Japan Licensed Guide
(57) Reviews

Have you ever heard about Zipangu, the Land of Gold?

The Venetian merchant, Marco Polo (1254-1324) wrote about Zipangu in his book "The Travels of Marco Polo". (Exactly to say, Marco told and other guy dictated it.) 

Zipangu is said to be the origin of the current country name "Japan", and the Land of Gold was said to be Hiraizumi!

Look at this photo!!

Hiraizumi - The Legend of Zipangu, the Land of Gold

This is the Golden Hall (Konjikido) in Chuson-ji Temple.  The construction completed in 1124 and still remains as it was. It is definitely one of Japan’s most significant buildings.

 

If you look at this building with your own eyes, you will believe the Land of Gold is here.

 The Golden Hall enshrines Amida, the principal Buddha of the Pure Land, flanked by statues of attendants and with reliefs of peacocks and flowers representing paradise. 

 

 The peaceful reign of Hiraizumi continued only 100 years under three Fujiwara generations. It was ended by the attack of Minamoto no Yoritomo,  who became shogun later.

Hiraizumi - The Legend of Zipangu, the Land of Gold

This is the Main Hall (Hondo) of Chuson-ji Temple. It is said to have been established in 850 by Jikaku-Daishi (En-nin), the third head abbot of Tendai Buddism. In the 12 th century, Fujiwara no Kiyahira, the first lord of the Fujiwara clan, began construction of the temple complex to console the war dead and to prey for the peace of Hiraizumi.

Hiraizumi - The Legend of Zipangu, the Land of Gold

Another spot you should visit in Hiraizumi is Motsu-ji Temple. It was also found by Jikaku-Daisi (En-nin) in 850.  After the fall of the Fujiwara clan, all the buildings in Motsu-ji Temple complex were destroyed by repeated fires, and now only their foundation stones remain. The Pure land garden (the above photo) however, still remains its original form. This garden is appreciated as an important historical site that helps us to understand the Pure Land garden of Heian period (794-1185/1192).

 

Hiraizumi - The Legend of Zipangu, the Land of Gold

Apart from historical sites, there are 2 more must-go spots near Hiraizumi! The above photo shows Genbikei Gorge. It is one of the "100 beauty spots in Japan". This 2 km long gorge is famous for its rocks eroded into strange shapes by rapid flow of the Iwai River from Mt. Kurikoma. It is 15 minute distance from Hiraizumi by car.

Hiraizumi - The Legend of Zipangu, the Land of GoldAnother spot is Geibikei Gorge. There are cliffs rising 100m high on both sides of the Satetsu River. You can enjoy the scenery while being poled down the river in a boat. A round trip lasts approximately 1 hour. This gorge is also one of "100 beauty spots in Japan". It is 20 minute distance from Hiraizumi by car.

 

You can go to Ichinoseki, the nearest bullet train station to Hiraizumi, in 2 hours from Tokyo Station!

It means you can visit there by a day trip from Tokyo!! (Of course, I recommend you to stay there at least 1 night.)

If you are interested in visiting Hiraizumi, do not hesitate to contact me!

I can give you more detailed information.

Since I am also offering a tour to Hiraizumi including Genbikei Gorge and Geibikei Gorge, please take a look at the below website if you are interested in it.

Website: https://triplelights.com/japan/tour/iwate-world-heritage-hiraizumi-genbikei-gorge-geibikei-gorge-1142

By Nobu

 

Did you like my article?

You can send me a message to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience. Let's explore Japan Together.

I'll be waiting for you, so please check my profile and get your trip plan now


08 Feb 2017

Nobu

Licensed Guide
(57) Reviews

Tours by Guide

Plan your trip to Tokyo with Nobu

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Send a message

Recent Tour Reviews in Tokyo

“ Underground Adventures: Kasukabe/Tokyo Flood Prevention Complex ”

Excellent
1 week ago Traveler: Jeff -   Tour Guide: Nobu

My partner and I spent the morning/early afternoon exploring the Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel, aka Kasukabe Underground Flood Protection Tank, aka G-Cans. As foreign visitors who don't speak Japanese fluently, we needed a Japanese speaking guide who could interpret for us (presumably for safety reasons). We found Nobu via the TripleLights website and he was excellent. N...
read more

“ Tokyo with a pre-schooler in one day! Yes, it is possible, if you have a guide like Nobu! ”

Excellent
3 weeks ago Traveler: Svetlana -   Tour Guide: Nobu

Nobu was really fantastic! I cannot recommend him enough. I was travelling with my 5 yo son and needed an experienced guide who could recommend places to visit and guide us through amazing Tokyo. He was just that and more. Nobu’s English is excellent, he is a very polite, possess wealth of knowledge about Tokyo and culture which he shares with you along the way and he was 100% in tune with what we...
read more

“ Visit the ricoh factory ”

Excellent
3 weeks ago Traveler: Suzanne -   Tour Guide: Nobu

Really nice and happy translator which helped us really good!
read more

“ Very friendly ”

Excellent
3 weeks ago Traveler: Woong -   Tour Guide: Nobu

Nobu was patient and kind. He was very knowlegeable about Hakone park and showed us all of the beautiful locations.
read more

“ 1/2 Tokyo highlights tour ”

Excellent
1 month ago Traveler: Cindy -   Tour Guide: Nobu

Had a great afternoon with Nobu at a very last minute booking. He took us to the most popular Tokyo attractions and was very helpful showing us how the trains worked and with our Shinkansen bookings. Very informative about the city and easy to get on with.
read more

“ Last minute amazing trip! ”

Excellent
1 month ago Traveler: Elena -   Tour Guide: Nobu

I booked my trip with less than a day notice and I had about a nine hour layover in Narita. Nobu was so unbelievably helpful and knowledgeable and it was great to see so many places in such a short time! I definitely can not wait to go back to Japan! Nobu was so nice and I definitely would recommend for anyone who would like a fun and educational time!!! Thanks Nobu!!!
read more

“ Good English, excellent knowledge ”

Very Good
2 months ago Traveler: Franz -   Tour Guide: Nobu

Did a very good job, very good English, excellent knowledge about places visited
read more

“ Great Day In Tokyo With Nobu ”

Excellent
2 months ago Traveler: Kathy -   Tour Guide: Nobu

We needed both a guide and driver to pick us and our luggage up at the end of a cruise. Nobu arranged for the car and driver, arrived promptly at the cruise terminal at the time agreed upon and was extremely flexible with our itinerary. We couldn't have asked for a better one day tour of Tokyo. Nobu is a very kind and knowledgable man and we would not hesitate to hire him again. He even helped ...
read more

“ Amazing trip to the Tokyo G-cans! ”

Excellent
3 months ago Traveler: Kirk -   Tour Guide: Nobu

I contacted seven different tour guides, both the top rated guides on this site and on two other sites to take us on a Tokyo G-cans tour. None of the guides I contacted would take us, as the tour was slightly out of the ordinary for them...Thankfully this site put me in touch with the guide Nobu-san and he happily organised the whole tour for us. Nobu planned it perfectly, despite never having bee...
read more

“ Wonderful day visiting Mount Fuji ”

Excellent
3 months ago Traveler: Chee -   Tour Guide: Nobu

As I wanted to visit Mount Fuji and didn't research on how to get there, I skimmed through available travel guides on TripleLights to take me there and Nobu san was recommended to me through another travel guide. Nobu san was a great and knowledgeable guide - he provided good information of the mountain and its surroundings. He timed our visit well which included visits to the panoramic viewing ar...
read more

Related cities