Visit four temples founded by Jikaku Daishi (Ennin).

Zuigan-ji Temple in Matsushima, Chuson-ji and Motsu-ji Temples in Hiraizumi, and Risshaku-ji Temple in Yamadera.

Matsuo Basho also visited these temples in the 17th century while compiling Oku no Hosomichi.

In the 21st century, we visit all four of these temples by E-Bike.

Oku no Hosomichi Four Temple Tour
A four-day guided E-Bike tour

Oku no Hosomichi Four Temple Tour Route

Borrow the crane's body,
You hototogisu

Zuigan-ji Temple, Matsushima

Founded in 828, in 1609 Date Masamune built the main hall, and since then the temple has been known as Shoto Seiryu-zan Zuigan Enpuku Zen-ji.


Sendai to Matsushima

Departing Sendai Station, we head towards Shiogama Jinja Shrine, and from Shiogama Port we take a ferry to Matsushima, and visit Oshima and Zuigan-ji Temple. Following this, we return to Sendai on the bullet train and go to Ichinoseki City to spend a night in a city hotel.

Summer rains
Have never touched?
The Shining Hall

Hiraizumi Chuson-ji Temple

Originally founded in 850, then at the beginning of the 12th century, Fujiwara no Kiyohira established temple buildings at a large-scale to commemorate the souls, regardless of allegiance, of the deceased from both the Former Nine Years War and the Latter Three Years War and lead them to Bukkokudo (a peaceful and ideal society following the teachings of Buddha).

World Heritage Hiraizumi

From Ichinoseki City to Hiraizumi Chuson-ji Temple

Heading towards World Heritage site Hiraizumi from Ichinoseki City, we pay our respects at Chuson-ji Temple. We will have an experienced guide show us around the place starting with the Konjiki-do hall that illustrates just how much prosperous The Northern Fujiwara Clan was, the Hon-do, main hall enshrining a 4.85 m tall seated Buddha, the Sankozo that holds numerous statues of Buddha dating back to the Heian period (794-1185), and the many trees planted around the expansive area such as ancient cedar, cherry blossom, and maple.

Summer grass
Site of dreams
Of old warriors

Motsu-ji Temple, Hiraizumi

Founded in 850, Motsu-ji Temple was further expanded when many temple buildings were constructed during the reigns of the second and third generation Fujiwara, Motohira and Hidehira, respectively. In olden times, Motsu-ji Temple is said to have held about 40 buildings and 500 monks, a scale and splendour big enough to outshine Chuson-ji Temple, and in spite of burning completely with the downfall of the Northern Fujiwara, the Jodo Gardens and Heian Period remains of temples were preserved almost completely intact, and in 1989, the Shinhondo was rebuilt in the Heian Period style.

World Heritage Hiraizumi

Chuson-Ji Temple to Motsu-ji Temple

From Chuson-ji Temple we head to nearby Motsu-ji Temple. Here a monk will guide us around the austere Heian style Hondo main hall enshrining a seated Yakushi Nyorai, the Jodo Teien gardens that even to this day exemplifies the ideology and techniques found in Japan’s most ancient text on gardens, Sakuteiki, and the Buddhist scriptures written in gold and silver lettering, various Buddha from the Heian Period, and Ennen dance paraphernalia stored in the Homotsu-den, among other things. After that, we ride our E-Bikes to Higashi Naruko Onsen to stay in an Onsen resort.

How silent!
The cicada's voice
Soaks into the rocks

Yamadera Risshaku-ji Temple

Founded in 860, according to Enryaku-ji Temple, the head temple of the Tendai sect, the founder of the Tendai sect, Dengyo Daishi, also known as Saicho, split a flame from the eternal light, ceaselessly burning incense at the memorial tablet to Jikaku Daishi, becoming a temple known for preserving the practice of constantly copying sutras on a four year basis, a custom passed down by Jikaku Daishi, these three endless acts (the eternal flame, burning the incense, and the practice of copying sutras) have been preserved to this day.


Natagiri-toge pass to Yamadera

From Higashi Naruko Onsen, pass through the Shitomae Barrier, and go along the most difficult part of the Oku no Hosomichi, the Natagiri-toge pass, and stay in Tendo Onsen for some much-needed rest before heading to Yamadera the following day. After stopping at the Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum, we will climb the 1,015 stone steps from the mountain entrance and visit the Semi-zuka?, Okunoin, Kaizan-do where Jikaku Daishi Ennin is enshrined, and take in the spectacular views from the Godai-do that sticks out of the cliff, before climbing back down and heading home via Yamagata Station.

Why don't you start your adventure to the deep north of Japan with us!


Four Temple E-Bike Tour (four days, three nights)

Tour cost: Price includes:
330,000 JPY (tax inclusive) E-Bike rental, guides (tour guide, local guides, instructors), all accommodation, all meals (including snacks), entrance fees, train tickets (Matsushima to Ichinoseki), insurance, support car.

* Prices per person
* Guests are to arrange their own transport (and accommodation) to and from the meeting points


Four Temple E-Bike Tour Dates
*Up to four people

June 13 (Tues.) to 16 (Fri.), 2023
July 4 (Tues.) to 7 (Fri.), 2023
August 22 (Tues.) to 25 (Fri.), 2023
September 5 (Tues.) to 8 (Fri.), 2023
September 19 (Tues.) to 22 (Fri.), 2023


This project was selected as part of the Agency of Cultural Affairs’ ‘Cultural Tourism Content Enrichment Project aimed at the Revitalisation and Expansion of Tourism’.