The Byodo-In Temple is home to Amida, a golden Buddha unique to the entire world.
The Buddha is thought to be the largest figure carved outside of Japan. Towering more than 9 feet, the immense figure is an original work of art carved by the famous Japanese sculptor, Masuzo Inui. When the carving was completed, it was covered with cloth and painted with three applications of gold lacquer. Gold leaf was later applied over the lacquer finish. Around the Buddha are 52 smaller sculptures depicting Boddhisattvas (enlightened beings) floating on clouds, dancing, and playing musical instruments. The hall and all the artistry it reflects are regarded as representing the essence of the culture of the Fujiwara aristocracy.
The Hall is popularly known as Hoo-do, or the Phoenix Hall, because a pair of the legendary birds of good omen and of Chinese origin is seen perched on both ends of the roof with their wings spread and ready to fly away. The hall containing two wings reflects stability as well as artistic beauty.
Before entering the sanctuary please remove your shoes, for this is a place of worship for the local Buddhist population.
Please click the photos on the right to see a larger view.