Featured on every single 10-yen coin found across across Japan, Byodoin or Byōdō-in/Byōdōin is one of the most striking examples of Jodo, Buddhist Pure Land sect, architecture! Together with its small, yet beautiful garden, Byōdō-in represents the Pure Land Paradise and was very influential on later temple construction.
Unlike many other temples, Byōdō-in was in fact built as a countryside villa first, in 998, by the powerful politician Fujiwara no Michinaga. It was only turned into a temple in 1053 by Michinaga’s son, who also ordered the construction of its most striking feature, the Phoenix Hall.
While the Byōdō-in building has been destroyed many times over the centuries, the Phoenix Hall at the other end has never be damaged, and still retains its original design.