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Sunrise at the temple of the PhoenixByodo-in at dawn is a little gem of perfection that everyone should see. The temple itself ( in the city of Uji, near Kyoto) is an extremely open, yet delicate and airy structure that seems to float on and above the water.In the early part of the day, the temple and its gardens absolutely glowed in the soft light of dawn.
There was a stillness about the place that was accentuated by relatively few visitors, and the fall colors gracefully melded with the green of the hillsides to give the whole temple a serene, perfect, finished quietude that I found extremely charming. It’s no surprise that this temple graces the ten yen coin as well as the ten thousand yen note. Like Mount Fuji, this is a distinctive symbol of eternal Japan.The temple is small but perfectly finished, and with the two halls on either side, looks ready to spread its wings and rise from the water. The two phoenixes atop the roof seem ready to take flight.
For those who have some time here, try and visit the Tsuen tea shop opposite the temple on the other side of the Uji river. It has been serving its customers for over 850 years and has some of the best green tea in all of Japan!