Tenyru-ji is a major temple of the Rinzai School. It was built in 1339 on the former site of Emperor Go-Daigo's villa.
The main attraction of Tenryu-ji Temple is the Zen garden dating back to the 14th century. A triumph of design, the garden features a large pond which catches the reflection of the maple trees and large rough-cut rocks on the periphery. It also makes use of "borrowed scenery" from the nearby hills of Arashiyama, which appear to be the next tier of the garden. Many elements of this garden were prototypes for later gardens built elsewhere.
In autumn, the maples provide a fine display of fall color, while in spring you might see the blossoms of wild cherry trees or the stunted trunks of Japanese red pines on the distant hills. In any season, as you sit in the shelter and view the garden, you will likely find your thoughts settling and your body relaxing. The garden has a way of calming one's spirit and it was designed partly for this reason.
The temple with its garden was built to placate his spirit. It is now the headquarter of the Rinzai School of Zen Buddhism. Visitors can also sample the temple's Zen vegetarian cuisine, known as "shojin ryori."
* Address: 68 Saga-tenryuji-susukinobaba-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City
* Tel.: +81-(0)75-881-1235
* Access: 10-minute walk from JR Saga-arashiyama Station on the JR Sagano Line
1-minute walk from Kyoto Bus Stop Keifuku Arashiyama-eki-mae or City Bus Stop Arashiyama
3-minute walk from Arashiyama Station on the Randen Arashiyama Line
15-minute walk from Arashiyama Station on the Hankyu Railway
* Hours: 8:30 - 17:30, 8:30 - 17:00 (10/21 - 3/20)
* Entrance fees: (Garden and pond)
Adults (including University/High School Students): 500 yen
Children (including Junior High School Students): 300 yen
Under Elementary School Students: free
(Temple halls) 100 yen in addition to above price