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Why Byodo-in Temple is special ?
Byodo - in Temple, formerly the villa of Fujiwara-no-Michinaga, was converted into a temple by his son, the Kanpaku (Imperial Regent), Fujiwara-no-Yorimichi, in 1052, during the glory period of the Fujiwara family. Phoenix Hall (Ho-o-do), an Amida Buddha hall, was built in the following year. A National Treasure, it is the only building dating back to the time of the temple's establishment. Its graceful appearance conjures up a paradise dreamed of by the Heian aristocracy. The garden, designated as a special place of scenic beauty, is a relic of the Heian Period. This majestic garden centers around Phoenix Hall, Ajiike Pond and incorporates the surrounding natural scenery, including the clear water of the Uji River and the mountains in front. The garden was a favorite among the aristocracy.
What to explore at Byodo-in Temple?
Byodoin's buildings were repeatedly lost to fires and other calamities over the centuries, however, the Phoenix Hall was never destroyed, making it one of the few original wooden structures to survive from the Heian Period. Visitors to Byodoin can enter the Phoenix Hall on short guided tours (in Japanese) that start every 20 minutes and cost an additional 300 yen. It houses a statue of the Amida Buddha.
Byodoin's unique treasure house is constructed mostly underground to not distract from the Phoenix Hall. It exhibits an assortment of the temple's most valuable artifacts, including dozens of designated important cultural properties and national treasures. The treasure house also contains informative, multilingual displays on Byodoin's construction and history.
How to get to Byodo-in Temple?
- By train:
Get off at “Uji Station” on the JR Nara Line and walk 10 minutes
Get off at “Keihan Uji Station” on the Keihan Dentetsu Uji Line and walk 10 minutes
- By car:
Change to Keiji Bypass at “Ooyamzaki” Junction on the Meishin Expressway and from “Uji-Nishi” Interchange, drive directly on the side road of Keiji Bypass.
Change to Keiji Bypass at “Seta Higashi” Junction on the Meishin Expressway and Shin-Meishin Expressway and turn left at the “Uji Higashi” Interchange exit.
From the “Joyo” Interchange of Keinawa Expressway and via National Rout No. 24, turn right to Keiji Bypass side road.