Sunday, November 4, 2012

World Heritage, Chusonji Temple

Chusonji Temple, which is located in Northern part of Japan, was registered in the U.N.E.S.C.O. World Heritage List in 2011.  You can go to the temple as one-day trip, let's go to see the Golden Hall if you have JR Pass.

You can see the Golden Hall and many kinds of golden Buddha statues at one time. (This photo is from a flier since you cannot take photos in this hall.)

To visit Chusonji Temple, take Tohoku bullet train from Tokyo to Ichinoseki station, it takes about 2.5 hours.  Then, take local train for 8 minutes to Hiraizumi station. To get on this train, push the open door button, and do not forget to push the close door button. In this area, people open and close the train doors to keep warm inside the trains.

Once you get to Hiraizumi station, take bus or walk to the Chusonji Temple.  It takes about 5 minutes by bus, and 20 minutes on foot up to the entrance of Chusonji precinct.  The temple and golden hall are in the mountain, so you have to climb up another 10 minutes, go for it.

This is the main hall of Chusonji Temple, the center for services and rituals.  Chusonji Temple was constructed in 12th century, after two wars were fought in Tohoku.  The first Fujiwara lord, Kiyohira lost his families at the war.  Then, he ordered to build this temple and offered a pledge before Buddha to console the spirits of the dead for not only for his families, but also for all his friends and also foes, humans and even animals. 

And this is the main event, do not miss this Golden Hall, Konjikido.  This building is remained from Fujiwara-era.  The hall was completed in 1124.  The image of Buddha, surrounded statues and the magnificent decorations are meant to represent his Pure Land western paradise.  The inlay work of iridescent shells, the Southeast Asian rosewood and African ivory show the extensive trade network at that time.  The mummified remains of four generations of Fujiwara lords rest in peace under. 

Inside of this hall is all gold!

The former shelter hall of golden hall is close by.   Current golden hall was moved from here for preservation.

In Chusonji Temple's precinct, there are many other halls and shrines, too. 

This hall has the god of eyes.

This is Noh drama stage.  Noh is actually demonstrated once a year, during Bon holidays in summer.

Now it is good time to see the temple with colored leaves as well!
8:30 - 17:00 for 3/1 - 11/3
8:30 - 16:30 for 11/4 - the end of February
Admission:  JPY800 for an adult

Experience Japan!