The 10 most beautiful Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Iwate

by RICH - TripleLights travel specialist

Iwate, located in northern part of Japan. Though some parts in Iwate were seriously hit and ruined by the tsunami in 2011, March. Now, it has become a popular prefecture as setting of NHK morning drama “Amachan”.

Though it is not as famous as big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka,  Iwate has  many beautiful places that travelers can enjoy the nature beauty of the ocean, highlands and mountains. Now, we want to introduce you the 10 most beautiful shrines and temples, some of them have ancient festivals that you can’t miss!

 

Chuson-ji Temple


The Golden Hall (Konjiki-do) in the green forest is a World Heritage site showing Buddhist culture in all its glory within the Tohoku region
The temple of the Fujiwara clan that had enjoyed 100 unbroken years of prosperity before becoming mired in war. The Golden Hall, created under the aegis of the founder of the Northern Fujiwaras, Kiyohira, must be seen as a hidden treasure that illustrated Paradise and prayed for peace.

Chuson-ji Temple, a heritage site for Heian Buddhist culture that came of age in the Tohoku region Chuson-ji is a temple built upon a 130m hill in the middle of deep forest. Beautiful 300-year-old cryptomeria trees line the gentle Tsukimizaka Slope on its way to the temple. The history of the temple is old: it had been established by Buddhist abbot Ennin in 850 before further construction was initiated in 1105 by the first of the Northern Fujiwara clan, Kiyohira, which began an age of prosperity for the temple. However, due to the ravages o...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:30 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
0191-46-2211
Price
- Adult: 800 JPY
- Child: 200 JPY
High school students 500 yen
Middle school students 300 yen

Website
www.chusonji.or.jp

Motsu-ji Temple


A World Heritage site of Scenic Beauty with a surviving elegant garden of Heian aristocracy that came of age in the Tohoku region
The garden culture of the powerful Northern Fujiwara clan that has been retained all these centuries. Walk in the Pure Land that merges nature and the world of Buddhism, and reminisce over the lifestyle of the elegant Heian nobility.

The miraculous Motsu-ji Temple with its legend of the white deer When the great priest Ennin came to this land during his pilgrimage through the Tohoku region, there was a thick fog which he couldn’t escape. He then noticed some white fur at his feet which led to a white deer crouched down on the ground. When the deer disappeared beyond the fog, an old white-haired figure appeared and that figure prophesied that a temple would be built on the land before he disappeared. After the temple was established in the year 850, Motohira Fujiw...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:30 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
0191-46-2331
Price
- Adult: 500 JPY
- Child: 100 JPY
High school students 300 yen
Website
www.motsuji.or.jp

Takkoku no Iwaya Bishamondo Temple

The 10 most beautiful Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Iwate

Photo by Planetyze

A rare scene is provided with Bishamondo which seems to meld into the rock wall
Bishamondo Temple built into the precipitous rock wall, the gigantic Buddhist statues carved into the slope and the 1300 years of history create a wondrous spectacle that emits the scent of an old legend wrapped in a serene atmosphere.

A National Historic Site with numerous Important Cultural Properties 400 years before the establishment of Chuson-ji Temple by Kiyohira Fujiwara in Hiraizumi in the 12th century, there stood Tendai-shu Takkoku Seikou-ji Temple. To the west of it is Takkoku no Iwaya Bishamondo Temple which was built inside a rock wall, a conspicuous sight that seems to be enveloped in rock. The temple was erected in the early Heian Era in 801 in commemoration of the defeat of the Ezo people who had lived in the area by Tamuramaro Sakanoue. A Bishamonten deit...

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Business hours
- Everyday (8:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
0191-46-4931
Price
- Adult: 300 JPY
Junior high school and high school students: 100 yen
Elementary school students and below: free

Website
www.japan-iwate.info

Kokuseki-ji Temple

The 10 most beautiful Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Iwate

Photo by Planetyze

Established in 729, the Tohoku’s first Shugendo temple with a sleeping Buddha in the lushly green city of Oshu
An ancient Tohoku temple that has enshrined many valuable statues of Buddha including the Sedentary Statue of Yakushi Nyorai created in the 9th century, the standing statues of Nikko and Gekko Bosatsu that were donated by Korehira Fujiwara who was the builder of Motsu-ji Temple, and the statues of the Four Guardian Kings which have been designated as National Important Cultural Properties.

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
Phone
0197-26-4168
Price
- Adult: 300 JPY
- Child: 200 JPY
To view the Buddhist statues, prior reservation by telephone is necessary
Website
www.japan-iwate.info

Morioka Hachiman-gu Shrine


Iwate’s finest grand shrine with its magnificent red shaden and large torii gate piercing the sky
With a history of more than 300 years, the shrine has been revered by citizens for being rooted in the lives of people as the god for the roots of human life. The shaden (main shrine building) which was reconstructed in a brilliant vermilion in 1997 is a sight to behold.

Morioka Hachiman-gu enshrining the god for the roots of human life Established in 1062 to pray for military victory, the shrine first began as Hatomori Hachiman-gu, revered by a powerful clan, and then in 1593, it was reconstructed by the Nambu clan of Morioka as the protective shrine for Morioka Castle enshrining the area’s local deity and becoming worshiped widely by the people. In 1680, the 29th feudal lord, Shigenobu Nambu established the shrine as the current Hachiman-gu Shrine. The god Homudawake-no-Mikoto was enshrined to be roote...

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Phone
019-652-5211
Website
en.wikipedia.org

Ho’on-ji Temple


An ancient temple in a town of temples which has retained a charm from the feudal era which was dedicated to the 500 Buddhist arhats (statues)
Ho’on-ji Temple is a Soto sect temple located in the quiet temple neighborhood of Kitayama in the northeast section of central Morioka. It is a famous ancient temple for Zen meditation which has enshrined 499 Buddhist statues.

An ancient temple in an honorable temple community that has continued since the Edo Era Kitayama, which is in the northeast section of central Morioka, is an honorable community of temples which has about 20 temples in the vicinity. Ho’on-ji is the most famous temple among them which was established in 1362 and then moved to its present location in 1601. It is a Zen temple of the Soto sect whose long history has been passed down to the present. There are plenty of historic landmarks in its solemnly rising main temple gate, the temple be...

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Business hours
- Everyday (9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM )
Phone
019-651-4415
Price
- Adult: 300 JPY
- Child: 100 JPY

Fukusen-ji Temple


Japan’s biggest wooden Kannon statue at 17m is enshrined here in a temple that was built in 1912
The massive wooden Kannon statue was carved out of a huge 1200-year-old tree by the chief priest himself, a process that took 20 years and involved the priest taking weeklong fasts 100 times. He completed his mission through prayer for bringing back the world back from confusion and despair.

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Business hours
- Sunday (8:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM )
Phone
0198-62-3822
Price
- Adult: 300 JPY
- Child: 200 JPY
High school students 250 yen
Website
www.tonojikan.jp

Hachiyozan Tendai-ji Temple

The 10 most beautiful Shrines and Temples to see while you travel to Iwate

Photo by Planetyze

A history of hardship and restoration. See the masterpiece of the Standing Image of Shokannon protecting the Tohoku’s oldest temple
Tendai-ji Temple was established in the ancient Nara Era. With its history of magnificence and tragedy, it is the oldest remaining temple in the Tohoku region. The statue of Buddha carved in the natabori method cannot be missed.

Tohoku’s oldest temple with its history of prosperity and destruction Tendai-ji was established in 728 by the monk Gyoki under the command of the emperor. Built in the Heian Era, it is thought to have developed the northernmost example of Buddhist culture in the ancient days of the nation with worship of the holy water bubbling from the giant katsura trees below the sando path to the temple. In the 14th century, further developing under the auspices of the increasingly influential Nambu clan in the Tohoku area, the temple underwent majo...

more information

Business hours
- Everyday (8:30 AM ~ 4:30 PM )
Phone
0195   -38-2500
Price
- Adult: 300 JPY
- Child: 300 JPY
Website
www.japan-iwate.info

Morioka Tenman-gu Shrine


A Tenman-gu shrine that has enshrined a guard dog so charming that it is almost like a mascot character
Michizane Sugawara, the God of Learning, is enshrined here, and Takuboku Ishikawa, who represents modern Japanese literature, was said to have visited the shrine several times in his youth. The shrine has a history related to literature with references having been made to it in his stories.

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Phone
019-604-3305
Price
- Free

Kanjizaiō-in Temple


A fully restored World Heritage site that expressed the world of the Pure Land
A temple built by the wife of Motohira Fujiwara who focused his energies on the reconstruction of Chuson-ji Temple. Excavated in 1976, the garden has been restored to its nearly original appearance. Currently, it is open as a historical park.

more information

Phone
0191-46-4012
Price
- Free
Website
hiraizumi.or.jp

 

Learn how to visit a temple in Japan (how to pray, what to do)

Here is an introduction to the general etiquette for a visit to a Buddhist temple in Japan and other tips on how to enjoy a temple, a list of activities and tips that you can do .
Click here to view video

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16 Nov 2016

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