Chuson-ji Temple

Chuson-ji Temple, Hiraizumi-cho: Hours, Address, Chuson-ji Temple Reviews: 4.5/5

Chuson-ji Temple
4.5
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
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4.5
790 reviews
Excellent
382
Very good
326
Average
68
Poor
12
Terrible
2

Gemini6_tadvisor
Lyon, France425 contributions
Couples
As we had Japan Rail Pass, we decided to visit this well known temple (world heritage) in a one day trip from Tokyo.

We took one of Tohoku shinkansen "Hayabusa", leaving at around 8:00 and we arrived at Ichinoseki station a little after 10:00. From there we tool a local train for Morioka to Hiraizumi station, which is the 2nd station from Ichinoseki. (Local trains are not so frequent.).

Once we arrived at Hiraizumi, we took a one day pass (500 yen) for loop bus (every 15 minutes at week-end, if we remenber correctly), and we took the loop bus to Chusonji.

Once we got off the bus, we had to walk up and up the hill among beautiful trees about 20 or 30 minutes to the top where the main temple is located. By the way, it was rather painful because of hot weather that day. On the way up, there are several small temples you can also visit. On the top, the old main temple and Konjiki-do (Gold colour pavillion), which is now inside of a modern concrete building maybe for conservation purpose, as well as the museum, where you can buy various souvenir items.

After the visit to the top, we walked down, and had a lunch in one of the restaurants. We took Wanko-soba (1700 yen). Wanko-soba is noodles served in many small bowls. We had 18 bowls, but we heard that in some other restaurants with more expensive Wanko-soba, as soon as you finish, they serve more bowls. So, it is all you can eat!!

Globally, the place is very pretty with beautiful nature, and is not too crowded with mass tourists. So, we think it is a good option if you want to go the north of Japan.
Written August 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Favzoz
Jacksonville, FL27 contributions
Solo
I visited Chusonji Temple and the Hiraizumi area when the autumn leaves were starting to show their colors. It is believed to be founded in 850 C.E. and rebuilt during the 12th century and is the head temple of the Tendai Sect. It was founded by the Fujiwara clan (Fujiwara no Kiyohara). The Konjiki-Do or Golden Hall is a beautiful building. Back in the day, the Hiraizumi area was a leading producer of gold. The Golden Hall is all wood and covered in gold leaf, inlaid with mother-of-pearl. It was completely rebuilt in the 1960s-you can only view the front of it because it is covered by clear acrylic panels. It was very crowded and busy the day we were there, maybe contributed to by the fact that there was a Fall Festival going on at the temple. The building originally stood in the open air, but is now completely enclosed by the building you go into to view it. There are examples of the mother of pearl inlay and more details in the museum, which is well worth viewing, to gain some insight. The Golden Hall is a mausoleum and the remains of the Fujiwaras are housed there. Chusonji is a beautiful, serene setting allowing for contemplation, observation, and a bit of tranquility from daily life. I enjoyed all the Buddhist art and history. I went there with relatives and family members and one of our party was 85 yrs. old. It was a bit rough walking for the senior person, but manageable. There are lots and lots of stairs, as is the norm in Japan. The temple is on a mountain, so there is a lot of uphil/downhill walking involved. I enjoyed every aspect of my visit there and would go again. This is a great place to also learn a little bit more about the Heian Period of Japan, when the Japanese Imperial Court was at the height of power and the actual rulers of the period were the Fujiwaras. A lot of great art and poetry came out of that period, too-one example is the famous Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu. The March 11, 2011 earthquake didn't impact the temple structure itself; it's easy to get there by Tohoku Shinkansen and local trains to the Ichinoseki/Hiraizumi area. We traveled from Tokyo and stayed in a Japanese Inn in Hiraizumi and viewed the temple and surrounds in two days. It is about 2-3 hrs. from Tokyo by bullet train. The Inn we stayed at had an onsen, which I thoroughly enjoyed and the food was excellent! You can tour the temple in a couple hours or so. I personally would allot much more time simply because I really enjoy visiting Japan's temples and I think one needs to take time to get the full benefit of such visits.
Written November 16, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John
Leavenworth, KS1,300 contributions
Plan on at least three hours to see the Chusonji temple complex and make sure you go into the museum as well as going into the Konjikido. The walk up to these two buidlings is through a beautiful park ascending to the buildings through a cyprus and maple forest. In November the maples are a brilliant panoply of reds yellows and oranges. If you are old like me, you may find yourself winded and you may stop a few times along the way. There are eating places and tasteful souvenir shops as you ascend. Visited 26 November 2018.
Written October 31, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

EvY03tw
25 contributions
Family
It could be fun to see these historical temples if we hadn't traveled much in Japan. They looked similar as other temples in Japan with more expensive tickets.
Written December 2, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MarkKwok
Vancouver130 contributions
I went as a day trip from Sendai. There is a steep hill to climb to get to the grounds. There is an entrance fee of 800 yen to Konjikido (a hall covered in gold) and the Treasure Hall. I wasn't too impressed with either.
Written September 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

maritora
Tokyo Prefecture, Japan4,752 contributions
Couples
Hiraizumi is a town where Kiyohira Fujiwara, who experienced the hardships of war, had developed. When he was young, he experienced a fight between relatives. His wife and son were killed by his brother at the time. After he finished all the battle, He wanted to see the world of Buddha so he built many Buddhist temples in the town. The monks he invited to build the Buddhist temples brought a lot of knowledge so that Hiraizumi could develop it better. The most famous temple is not the main one, Chuson-ji. It is called Konjikido (the Golden Hall). Now it is covered by another building for protection. I don't have any photos because taking photos is prohibited so I put some here from a brochure. Gold leaves envelope the wall and the roof. From the decoration, I felt not only the beauty but also his loneliness and the kind of prayers that he wanted for the pure and peaceful land. The entrance fee is 800 yen per person. It is far from the station and takes 25 minutes on foot. There is a free round-trip bus called "Junkai Bus Runrun", that's convenient to use. The temple provides English and o Spanish voice guides.
Written April 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tony P
London, UK53 contributions
Couples
still not overwhelmed by tourists! so many buildings on this site with space to walk and relax. so far the best religious site I've visited in Japan after about 40 years of travels - better than Kyoto and Nikko for me - maybe Nara comes close.
Written May 4, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

HiroSKMT
Macau, China10,398 contributions
Solo
Be prepared to walk up a long steep slope before arriving the place. The Temple also shows the ancient stuffs used in the past in which were made in an amazing design and technique. The Golden Temple itself is peaceful, fantastic and relaxing. It is simply a treasure and nice to see that it was not destroyed during wars and it is protected well.
Written January 21, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ted C
La Mesa, CA194 contributions
Couples
The feature of this temple is the Konjikido a small hall / temple that served as the tomb for three of the Northern Fujiwara rulers in the 1100's. This temple is covered with gold leaf and the wooden parts are inlaid with mother of pearl. It is currently enclosed in a rather pedestrian concrete structure, but the wooden hall that used to enclose it which dates to the 1450 time period is not too far distant and is also worth seeing.

In addition there is a rather large outdoor Noh Theater to the north of Konjikido that is worth seeing as well.

We took a taxi from the station for about 700 yen as I recall and he took us up the back way to the temple which made for only a little bit of climbing to get to it. There is a fee of 800 yen to visit the temple and grounds and is well, well worth it. While you are there stop in their treasure hall museum not all that large but it did have some interesting pieces.
Written April 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

japanguide
Tokyo, Japan500 contributions
Friends
I had been afraid there would be snow all around Chuson-ji Temple in late February when we visited there. But we had no problem walking along paths. Even on Saturday morning a few tourists visited this historic sites, and so we enjoyed ourselves very much.
World heritage listed Chuson-ji Temple is on a hillock of Kanzan and was founded in 850 A.D. It has over 3,000 national treasures and important cultural properties of Buddhist arts.
800 JPY admission is required for an adult and an audio guide player is available in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean at an expense of 500 JPY.
Highlights of this visit were Konjikido Golden Hall and Sankozo Museum.
How beautiful Konjikido Golden Hall was, all covered with gilt except a rooftop ! It was built in 1124 by 1st Lord of Oshu Fujiwara clan, Kiyohira, and It is kind of a tomb for 4 generations of the Fujiwara clan.
Most of the treasures were conserved in Sankozo Museum that was built in 2000 near Konjikido.
Written March 2, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Chuson-ji Temple is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
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