The once-great temple of Muryokoin has been reduced to little more than rice fields and the remnants of the beautiful garden.
The temple, built by Hidehira Fujiwara, was intended to replicate the famous Byodoin Hodo in Kyoto
Twice a year, visitors can see the sun set behind Mt. Kinkei in a breathtaking display
A 10-minute walk from Hiraizumi Station.
Take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Ichinoseki Station and change trains there. Take the JR Tohoku Line to Morioka and get off at the Hiraizumi Station. You can reach the Muryokoin Ruins from the station by bus, taxi, or on foot in 10 minutes.
Muryokoin, a Pure Land Buddhist temple and garden created in the 1100s, was meant to create a heavenly paradise on earth. The original temple was constructed to allow visitors to meditate on the Buddhist ideal of the Pure Land.
While time and fire have left little of the original—only the foundation stones and the pond—the natural beauty of the place and its historical significance garnered it a World Heritage designation from UNESCO.
Deciding when to visit the Muryokoin Ruins is a dilemma. In the spring, the cherry blossoms and garden are very picturesque; however, you can see the golden stalks of rice rising up above the ruins in the fall.
Chusonji Temple and Motsuji Temple are both within walking distance of the ruins, so even if you do not spend a lot of time at the ruins, there is a lot to do in the area. You can also hoop on the Hiraizumi Loop Bus and head to Genbikei Gorge in Ichinoseki, which is about a 20-minute ride from Hiraizumi Station.