A World Heritage Site with a beautiful borrowed scenery

Tenryu-ji Temple is the first-ranked of the Five Great Zen Temples of Kyoto. Tenryu-ji, a true treasure of the Arashiyama area of Kyoto is a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ashikaga Takauji built this temple in 1339 in memory of Emperor Godaigo. The first head of this majestic temple was a noted priest by the name of Muso Soseki. Although the temple no longer boasts its former magnificence, the Sogen-chi-teien, or Tenryu-ji Garden, a garden designated by the Japanese government a special historic and scenic site, still retains vestiges of how it appeared when the temple was established.

A beautiful landscape garden

Sogen-chi garden is a fine blend of aristocratic tradition and Zen culture, displaying the beauty of the four seasons. The garden is arranged so that visitors can enjoy the changing scenery while walking around the Sogen-chi Pond in its center. Strolling garden that cover an immense area of about 4,000㎡ and incorporates the scenary of Arashiyama.

In spring, cherry blossoms beautifully cover the temple’s garden. There are about 200 cherry trees of various kinds such as Somei-yoshino cherry, weeping cherry, and double flowered cherry. You can overlook a stunning scenery of cherry blossom from the hill side.

tenryu-ji sakura
tenryu-ji sakura

In autumn, maple trees turn red and orange of fall color, providing a magical sight. Visitors can enjoy viewing the garden while sitting in the hall or strolling around.

tenryu-ji autumn

Address : 68 Saga-Tenryuji-Susukinobaba-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Access : 10-minute walk from Saga-Arashiyama station on the JR Sagano Line

Hours : Open through the year 8:30 to 17:30

Admission : 500yen