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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
Kyoto offers a wide range of accommodation for all budgets and tastes, including historic ryokan, Western style hotels and low-budget hostels. Among the most attractive districts to stay are the Kyoto Station area, the city center around Shijo Street and the Higashiyama District.
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Tours and Packages
Kyoto Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Kyoto and surroundings.

User Ratings
Ratings for Byodoin Temple:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  best of Japan  
User Rating (by 432 users):
86/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 776):
145.  Lake Towada (Lake Towada)   86/100
146.  Yoshiminedera (Kyoto)   86/100
147.  Kanmangafuchi Abyss (Nikko)   86/100
148.  Ryoanji Temple (Kyoto)   86/100
149.  Okama Crater (Zao)   86/100
150.  Byodoin Temple (Uji)   86/100
151.  Meiji Shrine (Tokyo)   86/100
152.  Nijo Castle (Kyoto)   86/100
153.  Harajuku (Tokyo)   86/100
154.  Sightseeing Boats (Shiretoko)   86/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 907):
73.  Lake Kawaguchiko (Fuji Five Lakes)   992
74.  Beaches (Kamakura)   987
75.  Hakone Hot Springs (Hakone)   980
76.  Toji Temple (Kyoto)   971
77.  Kasuga Taisha (Nara)   954
78.  Byodoin Temple (Uji)   936
79.  Clock Tower (Sapporo)   922
80.  JR Central Towers (Nagoya)   902
81.  Bay Area (Osaka)   895
82.  Zojoji Temple (Tokyo)   874

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English Links
Byodoin
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Byodoin
Official website.

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Related Pages
Travel
Sightseeing
Kansai Region
Kyoto Prefecture
Uji

Temples
Buddhism
Gardens
UNESCO World Heritage

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