Byodo-in Temple is a world heritage site that you can also see on the 10 yen coin
The temple was first built as a villa by Minamoto no Shigenobu in 998, over a thousand years ago. The villa was changed into a Buddhist temple by Fujiwara no Yorimichi in 1052. The next year the most famous and the only remaining original building on the site, the Phoenix Hall was built. The Phoenix Hall, also known as the Amida Hall, is a beautiful building that is surrounded by a clear pond. The hall almost looks like it was floating on top of the glistening blue pond. The architecture of the temple is spectacular; no wonder it is a world heritage site. All the buildings at the site are beautifully renovated with the bright colors of the Heian period.
Phoenix Hall
Phoenix Hall
At the center of the Phoenix Hall there is a 2.43m tall golden statue of Amida Nyorai (Amitabha Tathagata) and the surrounding walls are painted with pictures of the nine levels of birth as told in the Amitayurdhyena Sutra. In the same room you can also see the Unchukuyo Bosatsu, 52 wooden statues that are said to lead believers to Amida’s Pure Land after death. There is also a convex mirror like the feng shui bagua one, which has eight petals on the center and 66 bronze mirrors on its sides. It is easy to imagine how at night this mirror will reflect candle light stunningly. Only 50 people are let in at a time and you have 20 minutes to tour the hall before it is time for the group. Because of this you should be prepared to wait.
Byodo-in Museum Hoshokan
Byodo-in Museum Hoshokan
Hoshokan opened as a museum in 2001, and was the first registered museum in Japan run by a temple. The museum contains many national treasures on display, and these national treasures are a must-see if you are in Kyoto! The museum also provides virtual exhibitions and at the museum you can see ultra-high-resolution images of the Phoenix Hall.
Museum Shop
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Museum Shop
Byodo-in has a museum shop as well. The museum shop offers Byodo-in merchandise. Some of the items are also available to be purchased through the online shop.
Manner & Tips
- Manner & Tips -
You can get more of your visit to the Phoenix Hall after you visit Hoshokan, so I recommend you go to Hoshokan first and read about the history of the Phoenix Hall there.
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Overseas Tourist-Friendly
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In the garden of the Byodoin Temple, green pines and large ponds instill in its visitors a sense of tranquility. A pair of phoenix statues sits on the roof of the Phoenix Hall, and the artwork is considered a national treasure. The Temple is pictured on the ¥10,000 banknotes and the ¥10 coins, which tells its importance for Japan. There are many shops selling matcha (powdered green tea) products near the Temple, visitors may bring home some souvenirs after the visit.
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The golden phoenix on top of the Phoenix Hall, and the beautiful pond in front your eyes, is a sight you need to at least see once in real life. There is also the museum Hoshokan that tells the history of Byodo-in Temple and also exhibits half of the Phoenix Hall's Unchu Kuyo Bodhisattva statues. I thought the Unchu Kuyo Boddhisattva statues on their rising clouds were cute.
3.8 experience3.5 access4.0 photogenic4.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.8 experience3.5 access4.0 photogenic4.0
Byodo-in / 平等院
Category Temples & Shrines, Japanese Gardens
Phone +81 774-21-2861
Address 116 Uji Renge, Uji-shi, Kyoto 611-0021
Directions Get off at “Uji Station” on the JR Nara Line and walk for 10 minutes Get off at “Keihan Uji Station” on the Keihan Dentetsu Uji Line and walk for 10 minutes
Open Hours Garden Gates 8:30am - 5:30pm * Reception area closes at 5:15pm Byodoin Museum Hoshokan 9am - 5pm * Reception area closes at 4:45pm Inside of Hoo-do Reception area 9:30am - 4:10pm Admission starts at 9:10am and 50 persons at a one time every 20 minutes. * Please understand that if there are many guests who desire to visit inside, reception area may be closed before the final reception time. * Due to Buddhist memorial services or events, admission inside may not be available.
Reservations No
Closed Open everyday
Price range
[Garden + Byodoin Museum Hoshokan] Adult ¥600 Junior High and High School Students ¥400 Elementary School Students ¥300 [Admission to the Inside of Hoo-do] ¥300 per person is separately required as shinokin (admission fee).
Credit cards Not accepted
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
English brochures are available in Byodo-in
Information English, Chinese, and Korean
Lanuages spoken Some English
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