A butterfly on the gilded lotus flower
Hears of Rebirth through Amitabha’s Power

The Byodo-in is part of a former villa of Fujiwara Michinaga (966-1027) in the town of Uji, which is known for its tea.

The complex originally had seven pagodas and twenty-six other buildings.  It grew and prospered as the private worshiping place of his son Fujiwara Yorimichi, the last of the great Fujiwara ministers. Later generations left the temple alone, and over 800 years later many consider it a miracle that the Phoenix Hall is still standing.

Byodin-in is the oldest surviving example of a tradition of buildings and paradise gardens dedicated to Amidha. He is the Buddha who, with his associated Boddhisattvas, presides over this celestial garden and aids in the enlightenment of all sentient beings.

Originally a Tendai temple, it now belongs to the Jodo sect. The Phoenix Hall (Ho-o-do) is a rare survivor of Heian period architecture.  It is best seen in the early morning.