Mar. 03, 2017 UPDATE

Popular Tenryu-ji Temple

- 天龍寺 -
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Enjoy this amazing garden and the scenic beauty of Arashiyama
Located in the Arashiyama district, Tenryū-ji Temple is the head temple of the Tenryū-ji School of Rinzai Zen Buddhism and a registered UNESCO world heritage site. It was founded in 1339 by the Shogun Ashikaga Takauji in memory of Emperor Go-Daigo, with the eminent Zen master Musō Soseki serving as its first abbot. It was initially one of the largest Zen temples in Kyoto, but a series of eight major fires over the centuries have left it a fraction of its original size. The highlight of any tour of Tenryū-ji is the Sōgen-chi Garden, Japan's first officially designated special place of scenic beauty. Designated by Musō Soseki in the early 1340s, the Sōgen-chi Garden has retained its original form over the past 700 years. Featuring flowers in the spring and maple foliage in the fall, and noted for its skillful use of the surrounding mountains as "borrowed scenery," the Sōgen-chi Garden can be enjoyed throughout the year. Other places of interest at Tenryū-ji include the Dharma Hall, the Abbot's Quarters, and the Tahō-den. Take a leisurely walk around the temple and enjoy its magnificent scenery.
Hōjō (traditional residence of the Zen abbot)
Hōjō (traditional residence of the Zen abbot)
Tenryū-ji, like most major Zen temples, has two hōjōs: a Daihōjō (large hōjō) and Kohōjō (small hōjō). The Daihōjō, to the right in the photo is the largest building in Tenryū-ji. Visitors can enter the building and enjoy the view from the wide veranda overlooking the Sōgen-chi Garden.
The kuri was originally the temple kitchen, but at most temples nowadays it serves as the priest's everyday living quarters. At Tenryū-ji, it retains its original function as a kitchen, and also houses the administrative offices. With its distinctive appearance, Tenryū-ji's kuri has become the best known of the temple's buildings. When you enter Tenryū-ji's kuri, the first things you see is a large standing screen with a painting of Bodhidharma, the sixth-century Indian monk said to have transmitted the Zen teachings to China. This striking painting is a popular attraction, and visitors often have their picture taken standing next to it.
View The Sōgenchi Garden
3Good Experiences
View The Sōgenchi Garden
No visitor should leave Tenryū-ji without taking ample time to view this masterpiece of Japanese garden design. The Sōgen-chi Garden, which has remained nearly unchanged since it was created by Zen master, Musō Soseki almost 700 years ago, is best seen from the veranda of the Daihōjō. Its design skillfully incorporates the scenery of the surrounding mountains to give the garden a sense of added depth.
Enjoy Zen Vegetarian Cuisine (Shōjin ryōri) At The Ryūmontei Restaurant
4Good Experiences
Enjoy Zen Vegetarian Cuisine (Shōjin ryōri) At The Ryūmontei Restaurant
Enjoy Zen vegetarian cuisine (shōjin ryōri) at the Ryūmontei Restaurant. The Ryūmontei Restaurant, located next to the Sōgen-chi Garden, offers traditional shōjin vegetarian cuisine, free of all meat, fish, hot spices, and strongly flavored vegetables such as garlic and onions. Three set menus are offered: Yuki (Snow) with rice, soup, and five side dishes (¥3,000), Tsuki (Moon) with rice, soup, and six side dishes (¥5,000), Hana (Flower) with rice, soup, and seven side dishes (¥7,000). Each side dish comes in its own small bowl. Why not try the seven-dish Hana set? The restaurant is open everyday from 11am to 2pm.
4.0 experience4.0 access3.5 photogenic4.5
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
4.0 experience4.0 access3.5 photogenic4.5
Tenryuji Temple is close to Keifuku Arashiyama Station, the temple grounds are vast, in spring there are the cherry blossoms and in autumn the autumn leaves. Especially the garden called Sogenchi Tei'en is worth a visit. If you go in autumn you can see the pond of the garden surrounded by autumn leaves and Mt. Arashiyama in the background. There are always many people, but as the garden is big it is easy to take pictures here!
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Tenryu-ji Temple / 天龍寺
Category Temples & Shrines, Japanese Gardens
Phone +81 75-881-1235
Address 68 Susukinobaba-cho, Saga-Tenryuji, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi
Directions 5 minute walk from Keifuku Dentetsu Arashiyama Line Arashiyama Stn 10 minute walk from JR Sagano Line Saga-Arashiyama Stn 15 minute walk from Hankyu Arashiyama Stn
Open Hours Summer: 8:30am - 5:30pm Winter (Oct. 21 - Mar. 20): 8:30am - 5pm
Reservations Not accepted
Closed None
Price range
Garden only: High school students and older: ¥500 Elementary and middle school students: ¥300 Preschool children: free Tenryu-ji Garden and Buildings: Admission fees are the same as above, plus ¥100 Tenryuji's buildings are occasionally closed without notice for special ceremonies and other activities. Scheduled closings for 2015: Oct. 29 - 30 (until early afternoon) Special Admission to the Cloud-Dragon Painting in the Hatto (Dharma Hall): ¥500 Please note that the Dharma Hall admission fee is separate from that for Tenryu-ji's garden and buildings. The Dharma Hall is open on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays only, and during specially designated periods during the spring and autumn. Hours are 9am - 5pm for summer, 9am - 4pm for winter (Oct. 21 - Mar. 20).
Credit cards Not accepted
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
English brochures are available at the entrances of both the garden and the building. The main entrance of the temple is so close to Keifuku Dentetsu Arashiyama Line, Arashiyama station that you can easily access.
Information Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean websites are available.
Lanuages spoken Japanese only

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