The Byodoin Temple in Uji is only illuminated and open to the public a few evenings a year. We were quite lucky to find out about it and see the amazing Phoenix Hall under such conditions.
Byodoin Temple is a striking example of Buddhist Pure Land (Jodo) architecture.
The Heian Jingu Shrine garden, in Winter
We went to the shrine to see how the Japanese people welcome the new year. This place, being one of the major Shinto shrines in town, there were, of course, a lot of people. The garden, on the other hand, was almost empty.
Uji (宇治) is a small city situated between Kyoto and Nara, two of Japan’s most famous historical and cultural centers. Its proximity to these two former capitals resulted in Uji’s early development as a cultural center in its own right. The city features two Unesco World Heritage Sites, the magnificent Byodo-In Temple and Ujigami Shrine!