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Hiraizumi Takkoku-no-Iwaya Temple

1200+ years of history - built into a rock wall

For anyone visiting the World Heritage sites of Hiraizumi, a quick stop at Takkoku-no-Iwaya Bishamondo is a must. This 1,200 year old temple sits overlooking lovely rice paddies and has few visitors. As the site was originally a Shinto shrine, three beautiful torii gates welcome visitors. Within the grounds, the main hall is built into the rock-face and was modeled after Kyoto's famous Kiyomizudera. Be sure to hunt around for the large, impressive Buddha face carving - I completely missed it on my visit!