Shiramizu Amida-do Temple in Iwaki

Shiramizu Amida-do is a beautiful, historic Buddhist temple in a serene and peaceful garden. For those planning a trip to Iwaki or Northern Ibaraki, it is a great place to add to your itinerary!

shiramizu amida-do iwaki temple (3)

What is an Amida-do?

An Amida-do is a temple dedicated to the Buddha referred to as Amida Buddha. If you don’t recognise that name, but you have done your fair share of travelling in Japan, you have probably been to a place dedicated to Amida Buddha already. Definitely so if you have gone to visit the Great Buddha in Kamakura – this is the Amida Buddha!


Shiramizu Amida-do Gardens

After entering the temple grounds, you have to cross a bridge over a pond, and walk through scenic gardens before reaching the temple itself.

shiramizu amida-do iwaki temple (5)

The gardens are very peaceful, and really quite large, making Shiramizu Amida-do a lovely place to go for an afternoon walk.

shiramizu amida-do iwaki temple (1)

I visited last winter with some tour participants. Even though it was not the best season to visit to see flowers, it was still a great visit.

shiramizu amida-do iwaki temple (6)

After taking a look around the park, we moved to the main hall of the temple. The priest at Shiramizu Amida-do even explained how to pray inside the main hall of the temple.

shiramizu amida-do iwaki temple (12)

However, his explanation of the significance of Shiramizu Amida-do contained quite a lot of very specific vocabulary, so I am glad I did my research before going!

What makes Shiramizu Amida-do Special?

It has been designated a Japanese National Treasure – the only one in Fukushima.

Built in 1160, in the Heian era, Shiramizu Amida-do is historically a very important building. One thing that makes Shiramizu Amida-do easily identifiable as an Heian place of workship is the fact it was constructed on a piece of land jutting out towards the centre of a pond, in keeping with traditional Japanese Buddhist architecture of the time (known as Jodo Teien 浄土庭園).

shiramizu amida-do iwaki temple (15)

Not only is the main hall itself spectacular, but so is the scenery that surrounds it.

shiramizu amida-do iwaki temple (2)

From July to early September lotuses bloom, and in autumn, the leaves of the trees that close around the temple turn bright red and yellow.

shiramizu amida-do iwaki temple (3)

The temple is also lit-up at night during the autumn-leaf season, giving the gardens and main hall a really impressive, magical atmosphere.

shiramizu amida-do iwaki temple (7)shiramizu amida-do iwaki temple (8)

From what I’ve seen in photographs, the sight of the temple covered in snow is also really lovely.

shiramizu amida-do iwaki temple (19)

I’ll be visiting Shiramizu Amida-do in autumn leaf season this year, so I hope I get to take some good photos then!

shiramizu amida-do iwaki temple (13)shiramizu amida-do iwaki temple (14)

Visiting Shiramizu Amida-do

Read about how to travel to Iwaki here.

Admission fees:

400 yen for adults, 250 yen for children

Opening hours:

8:30 to 16:00 (15:30 in Winter)

Closed 4th Wednesday of the month

Reaching Shiramizu Amidado by public transport:

Take the JR Joban Line to Iwaki Station. From there, take a bus heading for Kawahira (川平) and get off at the Amida-do Bus Stop (あみだ堂バス停). From there, it is a 5 minute walk.

Reaching Shiramizu Amidado by car:

Take the Ban Etsu Highway, get off at Iwaki Yumoto IC – from where it is a 15 minute drive.

 For information on travelling to Iwaki City – including info on how to get around the city – please read my travel guide here.

More Information:

Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association!

See more posts about Iwaki here!


What did you think about this post?

If you liked it, please leave a comment and sign up for email updates here!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s