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Muryokoin Ruins 無量光院跡

Muryokoin Remains Muryokoin Remains
Muryokoin Remains Muryokoin Remains

The ruins of a Heian-period temple and historic Hiraizumi

The once-great temple of Muryokoin has today been reduced to little more than a garden, which was reconstructed based on archeological excavations.

Quick Facts

The temple, built by Hidehira Fujiwara, was modeled after the famous Pheonix Hall at Byodoin Temple in Kyoto

Twice a year, during the spring and autumn equinox, visitors can see the sun aligned with the peak of Mt. Kinkei in a breathtaking display

How to Get There

A 10-minute walk from Hiraizumi Station.

Take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Ichinoseki Station and change trains there. Take the JR Tohoku Line bound for Morioka, and get off at Hiraizumi Station. From the station, you can reach the Muryokoin Ruins site from the station by bus, taxi, or on foot in 10 minutes.

Heaven on earth

Muryokoin was a Buddhist temple and garden of the Pure Land school, completed in the 1100s, was and was meant to embody heaven on earth. The temple was built so that visitors could envision their paradise, the Pure Land.

While time and fires have left little of the original temple—only foundation stones and the pond—the natural beauty and historical significance of the garden grounds garnered it a World Heritage designation from UNESCO.

A sign with information on the temple and the site

When to go?

Deciding when to visit Muryokoin can be a dilemma. In the spring, the cherry blossoms and garden are very picturesque; in the fall, however, you can see the rich backdrop of Mt. Kinkei, covered in blazing autumn foliage, rising up above the ruins.

Other nearby attractions

Chusonji Temple and Motsuji Temple are both within walking distance of the ruins, so there is plenty to see in the area. You can also return to the station, then catch a bus Genbikei Gorge (about a 30-minute ride), where you can enjoy a scenic river cruise.

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.

Near Muryokoin Ruins

Muryokoin Remains History
Muryokoin Ruins Nishiiwai-gun, Iwate-ken
hiraizumi area History
Motsuji Temple Nishiiwai-gun, Iwate-ken
Chuson-ji Temple History
Chusonji Temple Nishiiwai-gun, Iwate-ken
Chuson-ji Temple-AUT Festivals & Events
Fujiwara Autumn Festival Nishiiwai-gun, Iwate-ken
Geibikei Boat Tour Action & Adventure
Geibikei Gorge River Cruises Ichinoseki-shi, Iwate-ken
Geibikei Boat Tour Nature
Geibikei Gorge Ichinoseki-shi, Iwate-ken

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