Motsu-ji Temple

Iwate, Tohoku

1100-year old temple and a place of scenic beauty.

The temple Motsu-ji is the headquarters of the Tendai sect of Buddhism, and was built in 850. As a structure typical of the golden age of Hiraizumi culture under the rule of the Fujiwara clan in this region, this temple rivals the temple Chuson-jis Konjiki-do. There were supposedly 40 buildings here once, constructed using precious metals and valuable timbers, and up to 500 monasteries in which monks conducted ascetic training – an illustration of the great power of the Fujiwara clan in those days. A devastating fire in the 13th century and wars in subsequent years reduced the temple to its current composition of a Main Hall (enshrining the principal image of the Buddha), Jogyo-do (a building in which monks train themselves by meditating on the Amida Buddha, or Amitabha) and Jodo Teien (Pure Land Garden). A pond known as Oizumi-ga-ike, located inside the garden, is said to symbolize the Buddhist Land of Happiness (the magnificent land of the afterlife). At certain times of year the pond is surrounded by flowers in bloom. This is regarded as the most beautiful view of the garden.


58 Azaosawa, Hiraizumi-cho, Iwate
Admission Fee
500 yen (regular fee)
Open throughout the year
[Walk]JR Hiraizumi Stn./7-min. walk

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