Hiraizumi World Heritage Site

Hiraizumi in the south-western part of Iwate Prefecture is a town extending up the Hiraizumi Hill on the west bank of the Kitakami-gawa River, that prospered for almost hundred years from the 11th to 12th centuries as the center of the Tohoku region (the north-eastern region). Over three thousand national treasures and historical sites still remain, telling of the Fujiwara Clan that reigned over the area in the zenith of its prosperity. The splendid culture that appeared during the reign of the Fujiwaras lasted for three generations and has been preserved. The Konjiki-do of Chuson-ji Temple, built by the Fujiwaras, is decorated inside and out with lacquer containing gold foil and studded with Gold and Silver, a symbol of the gold culture of Hiraizumi. The historical artifacts and Buddhist statues found in the Konjiki-do are stored in the Sanko-zo storehouse and displayed to the public, reminding all who see them of the very high level of artistic achievement in these earlier times.

The Motsu-ji Temple adjacent to the Chuson-ji Temple was built in the ninth century, but destroyed repeatedly by fire. The restored temple and garden around the Oizumi-ga-ike Pond are reminiscent of what the temple and its environs would have looked like in those days.

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