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“Stunningly beautiful temple in a glorious setting”
Review of Byodoin Temple

Byodoin Temple
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USD 82.37*
and up
Uji Walking Tour with Tea Ceremony from Kyoto
Ranked #1 of 116 things to do in Uji
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Temple near Kyoto; famous statue of seated Buudha by 11th-century sculptor, Jocho.
Reviewed 6 April 2018

This tourist infrastructure has changed somewhat since I first visited it 30 years ago, and its a lot busier. When I first visited it there was hardly any tourist infrastructure and I was the only one visiting. On this most recent visit there were lots of tourists though not as many as the main tourist beat back in Kyoto. That being said the setting is still as glorious as I remembered it. Visits to the central part of the temple were being run around every 20 minutes and there is now a museum through which visitors pass on the way out of the temple precincts. The spot where a particular configuration of stone markers indicated that spot where Minamoto Yorimasa committed seppuku (hara kiri) after the battle of Uji Bridge in 1180 was harder to find even though his grave is marked, that particular area of the temple grounds having been changed. Stunningly beautiful even though the main building has had a fresh lick of paint which in some way detracts from the ancient patina that I remembered it having. Well worth the journey to Uji and the walk from the station

1  Thank brixtontrev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"yen coin"
in 36 reviews
"green tea"
in 22 reviews
"modern museum"
in 6 reviews
"japanese yen"
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"jr nara line"
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"uji river"
in 9 reviews
"thousand years"
in 4 reviews
"world heritage site"
in 8 reviews
"scenic beauty"
in 3 reviews
"main hall"
in 8 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 7 reviews
"shopping street"
in 3 reviews
"take photos"
in 3 reviews
"japanese culture"
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"train station"
in 3 reviews
"phoenix"
in 73 reviews
"pond"
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Reviewed 23 March 2018

We went here with a Kyoto friend and were blown away by the temple's Phoenix Hall and its setting. The hall -- the only remaining original building from when the temple started operating in 1053 -- has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The large red structure stands by a big artificial pond that displays a beautiful reflection of the hall. We agreed that the building looks like a bird with its central hall representing the body; the side corridors, the wings; and the rear corridor, the tail. A statue of a Phoenix, a mythical Chinese bird, stands on the north and south sides of the central hall's main ridge. Japan honors the building with its image appearing on the 10 Yen coin; the Phoenix appears on the 10,000 Yen note.

Though disappointed that we couldn't go into the hall (last group of the day had already entered), we still had time on this late November afternoon to walk around the complex and to visit the museum. The simple, tranquil garden soothed as we walked along its paths. Japan has designated this garden as a historic site and a place of scenic beauty. Many visitors also strolled through the garden but the number seemed to be far fewer than what we encountered at other temples. Some of the trees displayed autumn reds and golds, which brightened the area and made it even more appealing.

The museum encompasses a ground floor and basement and held many items of interest to us, including national treasures. These include 26 stunning statues of Bodhisattvas riding on clouds and engaged in various activities, such as dancing or playing a musical instrument. The temple's original bell and Phoenix statues are also here. We went through the well maintained and nicely curated museum in less than 1 hour. I liked the gift shop here, which offered everything from books to souvenirs.

It took us about 30 minutes to get to Uji, where the temple is located, by train from Kyoto Station and 10 minutes to walk to the complex. The 600 Yen admission fee gave access to the garden and museum. It costs an additional 300 Yen to enter the Phoenix Hall. Entrance there starts at 9:30 a.m. with 50 people allowed in every 20 minutes.

1  Thank Rumples
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2018

I assumed that any place as well kept as Byodin would be beautiful, but the real spectacle is inside of the temple. Going inside for ~15 minutes is a must (and well worth the uncharge). Read up on the place before going - there is an English version of the guide, but you don't have the same experience as Japanese speakers. Museum is great as well.

Thank Laur12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2018 via mobile

It’s printed on the back on the 10 yen coin, cannot miss this place, truly great.
Depending on the time of the day the sun light will hit it differently and your photo exposition will vary , I recommend to pass by it early in the morning and then again after 2pm.

1  Thank Marcelo S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 March 2018

My sister and I visited Kyoto for 5 days and the short journey to Uti to visit the Byodo-in Temple and surrounding area was one of our highlights of our stay. Do not miss this wonderful temple that houses Buddha Amitabha. In the museum they have replica's of what the Phoenix Hall looked like it is absolutely gorgeous. This Buddha is to help those who are departing this world move onto a heavenly place so the grounds and entire feel of the temple is calm and serene. The Phoenix hall is said to be the oldest surviving wood structure in all of Japan. Highlights are the amazing vibrant replicas of what the hall looked like before and the buddha and bodisatva's .

Thank jcraddock4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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