ContentsDo & See
Founded in the mid-ninth century by the monk Ennin, many of temple buildings here were built by the second and third lords (Motohira and Hidehira, respectively) of the Oshu Fujiwara clan, who ruled the region in the twelfth century. It is said that at its peak, it was one of the largest and most magnificent temples in Japan, comprised of roughly 50 temple buildings and 500 monasteries. All of those historic buildings have been destroyed by repeated disasters, but the Pure Land garden and the monastery ruins have been preserved and are a sight to behold. Motsu-ji is particularly beautiful during autumn color season, and has been designated both a Special Historic Site and Special Place of Scenic Beauty by the national government.
Yanaginogosho 14, Hiraizumi, Hiraizumi Town, Nishiiwai District, Iwate Prefecture
Access by Public Transit
15-minute walk from Hiraizumi Station (JR Tohoku Main Line)
A multilingual audio guide (¥500) or a free audio guide app for smartphones, called SkyDesk Media Trek, are available. There are also English-speaking guides available through the Koto Hiraizumi Guide Association.
8:30–17:00 (–16:00 in winter)