紅葉の11月 Explosion of fall color during November.



Hiraizumi, like most of north Japan, sees an explosion of fall color during November. The parks, gardens, and streets are all lined with trees that turn into bright, vivid oranges, yellows, and reds, while the lush mountainsides take on a painted quality in the background of every panorama.

This is, of course, perfectly evident at our temples, with their natural surroundings. The park at Kanjizaio-in lets you enjoy a wide open area roughly ringed with trees, with the colorful mountain of Kinkeisan rising behind it. If you time your visit during the first weekend of the month, you can also enjoy the annual Harvest Fair held here, with local vendors sharing Iwate-grown produce, meats, and refreshments, as well as song and dance performances throughout the day. You can enjoy your fill of Iwate specialties for lunch while soaking up the sun, then continue with your day’s exploration of Hiraizumi.

Sample local products, like freshly grilled Maesawa beef bowls


And of course, next door to that is Mōtsū-ji Temple, with its historical heian-area garden, which provides a wealth of opportunities for photos, with clusters of brilliant trees at every turn. During the Fall Fujiwara Festival, held the 1st-3rd of November, you can also enjoy the Ennen-no-Mai Longevity Dances, a traditional art passed down for hundreds of years at the temple, as well as other regional performing arts.

Brilliant fall colors in Mōtsū-ji’s temple garden


During the Fujiwara Festival, you can also see performances at Chūson-ji Temple, including a special Noh performance on the historical outdoor stage, and a children’s parade with traditional Heian-period costumes. Outside of that, you can also enjoy the leaves which form a bright canopy over the trails through the wooded temple grounds, especially during the first two weeks, when they are illuminated by spotlight after dark, making the bright colors really pop against the night sky!

The fall canopy lining the path at Chūson-ji


The scenery of Hiraizumi’s attractions, and the natural surroundings of north Japan, are a true sight to behold when the leaves change. Come and experience the vivid colors, and enjoy unique local festivals, or the fruits of the season, all the better to make your trip one to remember.