The main attraction of Hiraizumi is the World Heritage site of Chusonji, founded in either 850 or 1095, depending on who you believe. It is centered around Konjiki-dō, a small pavilion entirely covered in gold leaf dating back to 1124, which is housed within a wooden building.
This is the approach up to the building which houses the golden pavilion. I would love to go back in Autumn:
Here’s a sneaky picture inside. The actual pavilion is an impressive sight, being completely covered in gold and all, though it’s a bit cramped and you can’t actually see all sides of it:
A Jizo statue keeping watch near another smaller sub-temple building:
Around the back were several old gravestones set among the forest which gave them an otherworldly feel, almost like a scene out of a Ghibli animation:
Walking further down you can see across to the far hill where the Chinese character for ‘big’ or ‘great’ (大) is carved into the hillside:
Not sure what that’s about really. The area is actually quite a large complex of temples some big and some small:
But all of them are quite different and varied in their objects of worship. Here’s a peek inside some of them:
I would like to go back again some time if given the chance (or time!). It really does justify it’s World Heritage status and I’m sure it would be even more spectacular in Autumn.