Tenryuji Temple (天龍寺), Arashiyama

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Tenryuji Temple in Arashiyama is one of the World Heritage Sites in Kyoto. It is the head temple of the Tenryuji School of Rinzai Zen Buddhism, founded by Ashikaga Takauji and Soseki Muso. The temple was built to mourn the loss of Emperor Godaigo, who was an enemy of Ashikaga Takauji, so to speak. Before the establishment of theTemple, Emperor Gosaga and Emperor Kameyama had a villa here.

Temple’s official WEB site

天龍寺勅使門
Tenryuji Imperial Gate

Tenryuji Temple offers tours of the Kori (storehouse) and the Daihojo (main building). Both buildings were reconstructed in modern times. The principal image of the temple is a seated Shakyamuni Buddha, an important cultural property.

At the time of the visit, the Unryuzu (ceiling dragon) in the Dharma Hall was open to the public. But it was a new painting in 1997, and to be honest, it was not as powerful as the Unryuzu in Shokokuji and Myoshinji temples. If you ask me if it is worth paying for, I would not recommend it.

Tenryuji Temple

The garden of the Temple, on the other hand, is a creation of famous Soseki Muso. And it is designated as a historic site and a special place of scenic beauty. The oldest stone bridge in Japan still remains in the garden. Especially in early spring, flowers are in full bloom. And this garden is recommended even if you have to pay for it. Tenryuji Temple is not so good in terms of buildings and dragon images, but the garden is a must-see.

Model courses to visit Tenryuji Temple

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