Byodo-in Temple Highlights (Phoenix Hall,Garden)

Byodo-in Temple Highlights

The information about Byodo-in Temple Highlights is presented here. Byodo-in Temple has many highlights, including Phoenix Hall (Houou-do), Kannon-do, and Garden, but Phoenix Hall and Garden are the two that must be seen. Phoenix Hall and Garden are beautiful on their own, but the combination of Phoenix Hall and Garden is said to be especially beautiful. Phoenix Hall and Garden are beautiful in all seasons, but the cherry blossoms and autumn leaves are said to be especially beautiful.

Byodo-in Temple (location,history)

【Phoenix Hall (Houou-do, Amida-do, Amida Hall, 鳳凰堂, 阿弥陀堂)】

Phoenix Hall (National Treasure) was built in 1053 by Fujiwara no Yorimichi, the founder of the temple. Tree-ring dating of the members removed from the roof during the renovation carried out in the Meiji period(1868-1912)revealed that they were cut down in 1046 and 1047. Phoenix Hall consists of the central hall (中堂), the north wing corridor (北翼廊), the south wing corridor (南翼廊), and the tail corridor (尾廊). The twin wing corridors are located to the north and south of the central hall, and the tail corridor is located to the west of the central hall. Phoenix Hall, excluding the phoenix statues, is about 13.5 meters high, 47 meters wide, and 35 meters deep. Phoenix Hall houses the seated statue of Amida Nyorai the central hall. Phoenix Hall is located on the middle island of the Aji-ike pond in the garden, and is said to look like a beautiful palace floating on the treasure pond of the Buddhist Pure Land.

【The seated statue of Amida Nyorai (阿弥陀如来坐像)】

The seated statue of Amida Nyorai (National Treasure) was carved by the Buddhist sculptor Jocho, who perfected the yosegi-zukuri technique, and was housed in Byodo-in Temple in 1053. Amida Nyorai is the only Buddha statue that is confirmed to have been made by Jocho. Amida Nyorai is 277.2 cm high and is made of the yosegi-zukuri.

【Phoenixes (Houou, 鳳凰)】

Phoenixes (National Treasure) are said to have been made in the late Heian period (794-1185) when Phoenix Hall (Houou-do) was built. A pair of phoenixes was installed at the central hall, but they are now housed in the Museum Hoshokan, and a beautiful replica is installed there. The northern phoenix is about 235.0 cm in total height, 98.8 cm in statue height, and 34.5 cm in width, while the southern phoenix is about 228.8 cm in total height, 95.0 cm in statue height, and 44.5 cm in width.

【Bonsho (temple bell, 梵鐘)】

Bonsho (National Treasure) is said to have been made in the late Heian period (794-1185), when Phoenix Hall (Houou-do) was built. Bonsho has a total height of about 199.0 cm, a mouth diameter of about 123.0 cm, and a mouth thickness of about 12.0 cm. Bonsho is made of copper. Bonsho is one of the three most famous bonsho in Japan, along with Onjo-ji Temple and Todai-ji Temple.

【Kannon-do (Kannon Hall, 観音堂)】

Kannon-do (Kannon Hall, 観音堂, Important Cultural Property) was built on the site of Kon-do (Main hall) in the early Kamakura period (1185-1274). Kannon-do housed the eleven faces Kannon (Important Cultural Property), which was carved in the late Heian period (794-1185). However, the eleven faces Kannon is now housed in Museum Hoshokan.

【Garden (庭園)】

Garden (Place of Scenic Beauty and Historic Site) is said to have been created in the late Heian period (794-1185). Excavations since 1990 have uncovered the Heian-period Suhama (beach), and Garden has been restored to its original beautiful appearance. The two small bridges over Phoenix Hall (Houou-do) have also been restored to their original form. Garden is Jodo style garden overlooking the Uji River and the mountains on the other side of the river, and Phoenix Hall built on the middle island of the Aji Pond. Garden is planted with cherry trees, maple trees, and other trees, and beautiful scenes can be seen in each of the four seasons.

【Toro (lantern, 灯籠)】

Toro (lantern, 灯籠) is erected in front of Phoenix Hall (Houou-do) as a memorial service to Amida Nyorai. Toro is a hexagonal stone lantern and is said to be a Byodoin-style lantern. The lantern is about 2 meters high from Kidai. It is said that Kiso of Toro was built in the late Heian period (794-1185), Sao, Chudai, and Kasa in the late Kamakura period (1185-1333), Hibukuro and Hoju in the Momoyama period (1573-1600), and Kidai in the early modern period. The lantern is said to have been copied by Fujiwara no Yorimichi, the founder of the temple, from the lantern in front of Nan-endo of Kofuku-ji Temple (Nara City).

【Museum Hoshokan (ミュージアム鳳翔館)】

Museum Hoshokan was designed by architect Kuryu Akira and opened in 2001. Museum Hoshokan houses and exhibits Phoenixes (Houou, National Treasure), Bonsho (temple bell, 梵鐘, National Treasure) and etc.

【Remarks】
National treasures, important cultural properties, and other cultural assets may be closed to the public.
平等院見どころ (Byodo-in Temple Highlights)

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