Hiraizumi, Japan – A day-trip itinerary

Nestled in the picturesque Iwate Prefecture of Japan, Hiraizumi is a small town steeped in rich history and cultural significance. Renowned for its UNESCO World Heritage sites, Hiraizumi transports visitors to the golden age of the Fujiwara clan during the 11th and 12th centuries. This serene town flourished as a political, cultural, and religious power centre, leaving a legacy of magnificent temples, exquisite gardens, and a profound sense of spirituality. With its captivating blend of natural beauty and historical treasures, this town has become a beloved destination, inviting travellers to explore its sacred sites, immerse themselves in its profound heritage, and experience the tranquillity of a bygone era.


  • Departure from Ichinoseki (the most likely place to find a hotel or other place to stay):
    • Head to Ichinoseki Station and check the train schedule for a direct train to Hiraizumi Station. The journey takes approximately 10 minutes.
    • If you prefer to take the bus, check the bus schedule for a bus departing from Ichinoseki Station or another convenient location. The bus ride to Hiraizumi takes around 30 minutes.
  • Arrive at Hiraizumi:
    • Once you arrive at Hiraizumi Station, take a moment to orient yourself and gather any necessary information or maps from the station’s information centre.
  • Enjoy a traditional Japanese lunch / take a picnic:
    • Look for a local restaurant in Hiraizumi to have a traditional Japanese lunch. You can find places that serve sushi, ramen, soba noodles, or other local specialities. Indulge in the flavours of the region and enjoy your meal.
    • Optionally, you can take some food with you to enjoy. If you do, it will let you enjoy the Hiraizumi Nature Walk, which you can read more about here.
  • Visit Motsu-ji Temple:
    • After lunch, make your way to Motsu-ji Temple. It’s located within walking distance of the restaurant. Explore the temple grounds, including the beautiful Pure Land Garden, which offers a tranquil and picturesque setting. Take your time to stroll through the garden and enjoy the serene atmosphere. You can read more about Motsu-ji here.
  • Explore Chuson-ji Temple (article’s main photo above):
    • Chuson-ji is another main attraction in Hiraizumi and is located near Motsu-ji Temple. After visiting Motsu-ji, head to Chuson-ji and explore the various buildings and gardens. Don’t miss the Konjiki-do (Golden Hall), a stunning hall covered in gold leaf. You can read more about Chuson-ji here.
  • Visit the Hiraizumi Cultural Heritage Center:
    • To learn more about the history and cultural significance of Hiraizumi, make a stop at the Hiraizumi Cultural Heritage Center. Here, you can explore informative exhibits and displays that provide insights into the town’s past.
  • Take a stroll through the historic district:
    • Hiraizumi’s historic district offers charming streets lined with traditional buildings and shops. Take a leisurely walk through the area, enjoy the local atmosphere, and perhaps find souvenirs or traditional crafts to bring back home.
  • Return to Ichinoseki:
    • After a fulfilling day in Hiraizumi, return to Hiraizumi Station. Check the train or bus schedule to ensure a timely return to Ichinoseki.

You can find more travel itineraries at this link.

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