Amida-dō Byōdō-in (Phoenix Hall)(平等院 鳳凰堂)

Byodo-in Amida-do by Real Japanese Gardens
The Byōdō-in temple near Kyoto city was built in 998 in the Heian period (794-1192) as residence for Minamoto no Toru.

In 1052, it became a Buddhist temple. A year later, the Amida Hall, also called Phoenix Hall or Hōō-do was built. Until this day, it stands here in is original form.

In front of the Phoenix hall is a pond garden, which symbolizes the Pure Land, the paradise.

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Directions

How to get there
From Kyoto station, take the Nara line towards Joyo. After 30 minutes and 8 stops, get off at Uji station (宇治). From there it is only a short walk in eastern direction.

Opening times
8:30am – 5:30pm

Admission
300 yen

Jōruri-ji  (浄瑠璃寺)

Jōruri-ji (浄瑠璃寺) is a temple of the Jōdo school of Pure Land Buddhism. It was founded in 1047 by the priest Eshin. It is laid out around a large pond, which was dug out in 1150. Ponds in temples of the Pure Land school symbolize the ocean between birth and death, with a center island that depicts earth.

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Directions

How to get there
From Kyoto station, take the JR Nara line towards Nara. After 6 stops and 35 minutes, change trains in Kizu (木津) to the Kansai Main like towards Kamo (加茂). Get off the train in Kamo and take a taxi to the temple (5km, 12 minutes)

Opening times
9am – 5pm

Admission
300 Yen

Address

京都府木津川市加茂町西小札場40
Futaba-40 Kamocho Nishio
Kizugawa, Kyoto Prefecture 619-1135

Kyōto Gosho (Kyoto Imperial Palace)  (京都御所)

The Imperial Palace in Kyoto has been the seat of the Emperor from the Heian period (794-1185) until the end of the Edo period (1603-1868). After the Edo period, the Tenno and his court moved to the Old Edo, which then became the official capital of Japan and changed its name to Tokyo – Capital of the East.

The palace and garden are within the old palace enclosure but were built much later, during the Edo period (1855). The style is loosely based on the Heian shinden-zukuri style, with large gravel courtyards and a small pond garden.

Access to the garden is only granted free of charge. Tours are held in Japanese, Chinese, and English. English tours are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. You can apply for them by visiting the Visitors Room on the right side of the entrance.

[Updated: 10/2018]

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Directions

How to get there
From Kyoto station, take the Karasuma line to Marutamachi station (丸太町, 4 stops, 7 minutes). From there, enter the Kyoto-gyoen and go to the entrance of the Sentō-Gosho in the center of the park.

If you prefer to go by bus, take the city bus 205 and get off at the bus stop Furitsu-idaibyouin-mae (府立医大病院). The bus stop is to the east of the Kyoto-gyoen, enter the park and walk in a westwards direction.

Address
JP: 〒602-0881 京都府京都市,上京区京都御苑
EN: Kyoto Gyoen, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi 〒602-0881

Opening hours

September & March 9 a.m. – 3:50 p.m. (Last admission) 4:30 p.m. (Closing time)
October – February 9 a.m. – 3:20 p.m. (Last admission) 4 p.m. (Closing time)
April – August 9 a.m. – 4:20 p.m. (Last admission) 5 p.m. (Closing time)
Closed: Mondays (if Monday is a holiday, the palace will close on Tuesday instead.)
December 28 – January 4

Admission
Entrance is free.