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In Uji, Kyoto, Byodo-in is one of Japan's most famous temples and most recognizable buildings.Byodo-in is acuallly a temple complex, but this building, called the Phoenix Hall (Ho'odo 鳳凰堂), is the main attraction and a National Treasure.
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The central hall houses a sitting Amida Buddha with celestial floating Buddhas on the surrounding walls. The Phoenix Hall was originally constructed in 1053 (Heian Period).
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Byodo-in on the back of the ¥10 coin.
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Map of the Byodo-in temple complex. It's not that big. The Phoenix Hall has a central hall flanked by two L-shaped wings in front of a pond.
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Entrance to Byodo-in. Pay admission fee to enter.
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Byodoin Museum Hoshokan displays many Buddhist art treasures of the temple. Opened in 2001. You can visit this museum after you see the Phoenix Hall.
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The center structure of both the original and replica houses a statue of a sitting Buddha.
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Entrance to the Byodo-in Phoenix Hall where you can see the sitting Amida Buddha after paying the extra ¥300 admission. Have to buy a ticket to enter at the specified time because only a limited number can fit inside.
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The Byodo-in admission ticket does not include admission to the Phoenix Hall's central hall (sitting Amida Buddha).
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The pond as seen from the Phoenix Hall.
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Entering the Phoenix Hall.
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Entrance to the see the sitting Amida Buddha. Photography inside the central hall is not allowed.
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Since photography inside the central hall is not allowed, here's a photo of the replica at Valley of the Temples in Hawaii. It is very similar. One thing missing are the celestial Buddhas decorating the white walls behind the Buddha.
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Sitting Amida Buddha replica at Valley of the Temples in Hawaii. It is very similar to the real one at Byodo-in.
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Although the major renovations were completed, they were still restoring the paintings on the doors, etc., of Byodo-in.
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Looks like intricate work and it's gonna look fabulous when it's done.
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People from Hawaii would know Byodo-in since there's a ferro-concrete replica in a park-like cemetery called Valley of the Temples on the island of Oahu.The replica of the Phoenix Hall was built in 1968 to mark the 100th anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. I photographed the one in Hawaii last year and now I can compare the two.

As you can see, the replica is very accurate. They say that the one in Hawaii is a smaller scale, but it looks the same as the original (made of wood) in Kyoto. Perhaps only the surrounding garden is smaller. Also, the one in Hawaii seems to house offices on the upper floor. (If you look behind the building, you can see stairs and air conditioners.) The original one's upper floor is see-through with no walls.
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The center structure of both the original and replica houses a statue of a sitting Buddha.The replica in Hawaii has a much more dramatic backdrop with the Koolau mountains. The original Byodo-in has no mountains in the background, and thankfully and miraculously, no tall, modern buildings either.
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A gate being renovated.
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Uji River is near Byodo-in.
 
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