To reach Hiraizumi from any area of Japan you have to get to Iwate Prefecture first.
To access Hiraizumi from Tōhoku region or Tōkyō, you must head to Ichinoseki Station by Shinkansen. The journey takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes. If you travel by Hayabusa Shinkansen running through Sendai Station the journey will take a bit less.
At Ichinoseki Station you need to transfer on the Tōhoku Main Line (regional line) and get off at Hiraizumi Station, which is not far (just two stops, about 10-15 mins by train from Ichinoseki).
Fares and travel-times from the main stations
Tōkyō: 13.000 yen – about 2 hours and 40 minutes
Sendai: 4.500 yen – about 1 hour
Aomori: 8.900 yen – about 3 hours
Ōsaka: 25.000 yen – about 6 hours and a half (transfer in Tōkyō is needed)
If you intend to use the Japan Rail Pass, or the East Japan Rail Pass, even just a round trip between Tokyo and Hiraizumi pays off the price of the rail pass. If instead you want to save up money, you can first reach Morioka or Sendai by other ways (such as a night bus), and then arrive to Hiraizumi by the Tohoku Main Line (from Sendai it will take about 2 hours).
Accessing Hiraizumi from the Tōhoku area is quite easy, however we recommend to travel by plane if you come from other areas of Japan.
The nearest airport is Hanamaki Airport. As of 2014, it is connected with direct flights from Tōkyō Haneda, Sapporo Shin-Chitose, Nagoya Chūbu, Ōsaka Itami and Fukuoka. The fares go from 20.000 to 40.000 yen.
At Hanamaki Airport you need to take the “Airport Access Bus”, and get off at Hanamaki Airport JR Station. From here, just take a southbound Tōhoku Main Line train and reach Hiraizumi Station.
You can access Hiraizumi also from Sendai Airport, which offers more services than Hanamaki Airport does. The airport is connected to Japan’s main terminals with direct flights, and it also offers some international routes, mainly to South Korea, China and Taiwan.
At Sendai Airport get on the train to Sendai Station, and from there you can go to Hiraizumi by Shinkansen or by a local train (change needed in both the cases, usually at Ichinoseki).
There are night-buses heading to Ichinoseki, Morioka and Hiraizumi leaving from Tōkyō. If you book in advance you can reach the Hiraizumi area as cheap as 3500 yen.