Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #51: Unique

The Byodoin Temple is a Buddhist temple in the city of Uji, Kyoto Prefecture. The temple was initially built in 998 as a countryside retreat a for the most powerful of the Fujiwara regents, Fujiwara no Michinaga (966-1026). The villa was made into a Buddhist temple by his son Fujiwara no Yorimichi in 1052 AD.

The Beyodin Temple is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Getting off at the Uji train station, we walked through a quiet town, thirteen minutes later, we arrived at the Byodoin Temple site.

This is the first entry to the Byodoin:

Below is the first sight of the Phoenix Hall, the main building of the Byodoin:

This beautiful hall is one of the few original wooden structures still remaining in Japan from the Heian Period (710 – 1185 AD).

The phoenix was a popular mythical bird revered by the Japanese as a protector of Buddha. There are two elegant bronze phoenixes perched opposite each other on the roof of the hall.

Byodoin’s buildings were repeatedly lost to fires and other calamities over the centuries, however, the Phoenix Hall was never destroyed.

The Hall is an excellent example of Heian period architecture with graceful lines and elegant style.

Following a narrow, winding path, we were in the villa:

At the end of our self-tour, we were on top of the hill. We sat on a bench under the shade enjoying the sand garden and pond which was a little further away on the right.

The Phoenix Hall is unique in many ways. Its original wooden structures is remarkable and the scenic pond/garden is very special; and it is one of a few original wooden structures in Japan that has survived since 710. 

We are looking forward to seeing your interpretation of unique, which may be a building, person, color, place, photo… Make a link here and to use the Lens Artists Tag so that we can find you in the Reader section.

For more information on how to join the Lens-Artists Photo Challenges click here for details.

Many thanks to Ann-Christine for her Tree theme. We got to see beautiful, majestic trees from the world. Have you seen these?

Jeremy’s Winter trees— “It reminds me that it is not necessary to travel far for great photographs, and no need to be obsessed with camera specs.”

Theoutershores Sitka Spruce, Ally in the Maritime Forest: “…If your gaze turns landward, you’ll probably be staring into a spruce forest…”

Vivka’s myguiltypleasures gives us a chance to see this “500-year-old-oak is to be found at the Wanås castle estate in the Southern part of Sweden.”

Be sure to stay tuned for Tina’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge next week.


I just noticed that the pinkback sometimes is not functioning well. So please send me your link in my comment section. I don’t want to miss your post. 🙂


150 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #51: Unique

  1. Pingback: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Unique | scillagrace

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    • Thank you so much, Patti. Among all the temples we have visited, this one is unique and the historical background is interesting. It was a perfect sunny day, I took lots of photos. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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    • Beauty and grace… so well said, Debra! There were a few hundreds of students there as part of their field trips. But they were polite, quiet, and following the orders of teachers, no one drink or eat on the trail. 🙂


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  7. Interesting that the Phoenix Hall has never succumbed to fire. Fantastic photos of this peaceful temple, Amy. I especially like the photo of our initial look at Byodoin, with the sun rays and entryway inviting us in.

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Xenia. The history of the temple made the place even more splendid…
      Walking around the hall and temple was a wonderful treat.
      Thank you for joining in the challenge. 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #51: Unique | HHC Blog

    • Both the surround of the Phoenix is peaceful, even with a couple of hundreds of Japanese elementary and Jr H students there taking their field trip. They were all polite, quiet, paying great respect to the temple, museum, garden… amazing! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. A place of peace and beauty – thank you for an informative tour, Amy! I am glad you got to visit this temple this second time in Kyoto – your photos are lovely and really show the serene architecture. Like so many old buildings, they were burnt down several times, and those that are not, or rise again – are truly unique.

    Liked by 1 person

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  14. Beautiful photos. It seems that the day was wonderful and sunny. Another one to file away for a long and leisurely trip through Japan. I love the continuity of the culture; that it can preserve and continusoulsy repair a wooden building for almost 1500 years without changing it. There is just so much to see (and so little time).

    My entry this week is a volcanic caldera lake. There must be many, but this is the only one I’ve seen: https://anotherglobaleater.wordpress.com/2019/05/20/a-placid-volcano/


    • You’re right, there is a continuous effort to preserve this beautiful wooden building for over a thousand years.
      Thank you for your entry. It’s very unique volcanic caldera lake.

      Liked by 1 person

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  37. Planing to go for a 3 week trip to Japan alone. Looking for the best places for photography. Love making landscaping photography. Is there any photography excursions or workshops that they have there?

    Liked by 1 person

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