Fodor's Expert Review Byodo-in
In 1083 the Fujiwara no Yorimichi, a member of a very powerful clan, built this villa, a UNESCO World Heritage site whose image graces the face of ¥10 coins. The main building, the Amida-do, is known as the Phoenix Hall, owing to the sweep of its curved roofline. A large statue of Amida Buddha, compassionate and benevolent, sits in repose as he views those below him. Small mounted images of bosatsu (enlightened beings) drift through clouds, playing instruments and dancing, an 11th-century image of paradise. The landscaped garden and pond reflect Amida's paradise. A video in the museum takes viewers back a millennium to demonstrate what the original bright colors would have looked like. Other small images of the 52 small wooden kuyo or reverent bosatsu have been put on display here.