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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai - Kyoto - Uji
Byodoin Temple 
# 1   of 7 most visited
sights in Uji

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Phoenix Hall

Byodoin Temple (平等院, Byōdōin) is a striking example of Buddhist Pure Land (Jodo) architecture. Together with its garden, the temple represents the Pure Land Paradise and was influential on later temple construction. Byodoin was initially built in 998 as a countryside retreat villa for the powerful politician Fujiwara no Michinaga, not as a temple.

Michinaga's son turned Byodoin into a temple and ordered the construction of its most spectacular feature, the Phoenix Hall. Although the building was given another official name, almost immediately after its construction in 1053, it was nicknamed Hoodo ("Phoenix Hall") because of its shape and the two phoenix statues on its roof. The hall is now featured on the back of the Japanese ten yen coin.

Construction Notice: From September 2012 through September 2014, the Phoenix Hall is undergoing renovation works. The hall was fully covered up by scaffolding until March 2014, but it is now visible again. Only the back of the hall remains covered up, but the scaffolding is unnoticable when the main hall is viewed from the front.

The Phoenix Hall on April 3, 2014 from the front (left) and from the side (right)

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.

Treasure House

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
Byodoin is a 10-15 minute walk from JR Uji Station or Keihan Uji Station.

How to get to and around Uji

Hours and Fees
Hours:8:30 to 17:30 (entry until 17:15)
Treasure house from 9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:45)
Closed:No closing days
Admission:600 yen (additional 300 yen for a tour of the Phoenix Hall)

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Hotels and Ryokan
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User Ratings
Ratings for Byodoin Temple:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  best of Japan  
User Rating (by 427 users):
86/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 764):
145.  Ryoanji Temple (Kyoto)   86/100
146.  Yoshiminedera (Kyoto)   86/100
147.  Harajuku (Tokyo)   86/100
148.  Okama Crater (Zao)   86/100
149.  Nijo Castle (Kyoto)   86/100
150.  Byodoin Temple (Uji)   86/100
151.  Shinjuku (Tokyo)   86/100
152.  Sightseeing Boats (Shiretoko)   86/100
153.  Beppu Hot Springs (Beppu)   86/100
154.  Osaka Aquarium (Osaka)   86/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 894):
73.  Beaches (Kamakura)   973
74.  Hakone Hot Springs (Hakone)   969
75.  Lake Kawaguchiko (Fuji Five Lakes)   964
76.  Toji Temple (Kyoto)   943
77.  Kasuga Taisha (Nara)   930
78.  Byodoin Temple (Uji)   922
79.  Clock Tower (Sapporo)   907
80.  JR Central Towers (Nagoya)   884
81.  Bay Area (Osaka)   866
82.  Daisho-in Temple (Miyajima)   861

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English Links
Byodoin
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Byodoin
Official website.

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Kansai Region
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