“A quiet temple between Kyoto and Nara ”
Byodoin is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of very few remaining temples in Japan that feature Heian architecture.
The temple features the most beautiful of Japan’s few remaining Pure Land Gardens, and a small museum. Both are included in the entry fee.
The museum has won architecture awards, and inside features 52 wooden Bodhisattvas, the temple bell, a Golden Phoenix, and other historically noteworthy items. The temple bell here is also a national treasure. The golden phoenix is and the temple itself are depicted on both a Japanese coin and bank note.
I would say this temple is well worth a visit on your way to Nara.
Heaven on earth – Byodoin Temple, a World Heritage Site