Festivals & Events
The breathtaking beauty of Chuson-ji Temple in Iwate's Hiraizumi area, wreathed in the colors of the autumn leaves, becomes even more impressive during its Fall Fujiwara Festival. Held in early November, the festival honors the Fujiwara leaders enshrined in the Golden Pavilion.
You can reach Chuson-ji by bus, taxi or on foot from Hiraizumi Station on the JR Tohoku Line.
Take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Ichinoseki Station and change trains onto the JR Tohoku Line bound for Morioka. Get off at Hiraizumi Station. It's a five to ten-minute bus ride or a 20 to 30-minute walk to Chuson-ji.
Beginning on November 1, Chuson-ji holds a three-day memorial festival for the Fujiwara family leaders who built the temple and the surrounding structures, including Motsu-ji, in Hiraizumi.
A procession of children, singers, and monks, dressed in the style of the late Heian period, traverse the temple grounds to the Golden Pavilion where they pay their respects to the Fujiwara leaders enshrined inside.
If you like, participate in the ritual exchange of chrysanthemum flowers to gain blessings for long life and good health. You can also enjoy a Noh performance on the temple stage on the final day of the festival.
The festival coincides with the Chrysanthemum Festival, which runs from October into November. The vibrant hues of the chrysanthemum flowers coupled with the fiery fall foliage make the temple a rich tapestry of color and beauty.
Displays made of chrysanthemums that have been shaped into various designs grace the temple grounds, while dolls celebrating Minamoto no Yoshitsune are often cloaked in chrysanthemums.