Tenryu-Ji Zen Temple HallTenryu-ji (天龍寺) is located in Arashiyama, a scenic area at the foot of the mountains on the western outskirts of Kyoto.  It is the main Temple of the area and features one of the finest garden and pond in Kyoto that was designed by the first abbot of the temple, Muso Soseki in the 14th century.




Tenryu-Ji Temple is a Unesco World Heritage Site

One way we enjoy the garden is to get inside the hall and just seat and watch it quietly (be aware that there are usually a lot of people around and it may be somewhat difficult to see it from inside the hall — go there as early as possible).  After a while, a little walk in the garden is always very pleasant, and enable you to reach directly Arashiyama’s famous Bamboo Grove.
Tenryu-Ji Zen Temple - view from inside


Tenryu-Ji Temple, the garden and the pond
Tenryu-Ji Temple, Daruma
Tenryu-Ji Temple, the garden and the pond

This is the oldest surviving example of “shakkei” (borrowed scenery) in Japan where the steep surrounding mountains of Arashiyama are perfectly incorporated into the design of this garden.

Tenryu Painting - The Cloud Dragon on the ceiling of Tenryu-ji's Hatto


While there, be sure to see the newly painted Cloud-Dragon (Tenryu) on the ceiling of the Hatto (Dharma Hall) – it was painted in 1997 by the renowned nihonga artist Kayama Matazo (1927-2004), as one of the projects commemorating the 650th anniversary of the death of Tenryu-ji’s founder, Muso Kokushi.

We usually go there using the small Randen train from Shijo Omiya station, or by bus directly from Kyoto station.

Autumn colors at the Hôgon-In TempleIf visiting in Autumn, be sure not to miss Hôgon-In located next door.  It is one of the branch temples of Tenryuji and the garden is just amazing — truly spectacular in Autumn.

Subscribe To Our Website

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Kyoto.

You have Successfully Subscribed!