Hiraizumi and mock up Buddhist heaven

Today, we visit the UNESCO town of Hiraizumi.

Cycling is easy due to its cycling path. The furthest temple takes about half an hour to reach. Along the way, rural land scape and occasional burst of colours welcome your visit.

Takkounoiwaya Bishamondo

A small temple built into the face of a little clift. There were once a big buddha engrave onto the stone.

Can you see the face of buddha?

Motsuji

In the ancient past, the monasteries in this area can rival those of Kyoto. Dedicated to pureland doctrine, believers built and model huge gardens according to descriptions of paradise in Pure land school sutra.

Imagine ponds where lotus bloom. Each big enough to sit a person in meditation. That’s how beings reborn in Amitabha’s pureland.

Surrounded by trees decorated with precious jewels. The sound of chiming jewels filled the air. Colourful birds fly in the sky. Occasional showers of flowers fills the air with pleasant scent.

The ground is made of golden sand. Paths for practicing “chant as you walk” railings made from gold and studded with gems.

The above is Motsuji. The current temple is a fraction of what it used to be. Foundation stones of ancient temple buildings can be seen in the current precinct.

Chusonji

The epitome of spiritual experience is a visit to the prayer hall gilded in gold, where Amitabha Buddha is standing. Although not life size, the intricate artwork is admirable. Located within a museum on top of a hill.

To reach it, you have to climb a hill that is lined with tall pines.

For lunch, I had traditional rice ball (mochi) meal. Seems vegan to me. Six types of sauce to flavour the mochi.

I am surprised that I felt contented with the meal eventhough there isn’t any fried chicken or seafood in it.

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