Byodo-in (Phoenix Hall)

Kyoto, Japan

Located near Uji, the Phoenix Hall (1053) is named after an Asian mythical bird, its "wings" spread out in flight. The building is what remains of the villa-temple of Fujiwara no Yorimichi, reflected in a stunning pond and gardens that represent Amida's Western Paradise. Other villa-temples in Japan include the Golden Pavilion and Silver Pavilion, Horyuji, and Nanzenji.

The villa was formerly closed for repairs, but reopened in 2000, as refurbishing continues.