Tenryuji Temple, Kyoto

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    The "dry waterfall"
    by toonsarah
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    One of the temple buildings
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    Tenryu-ji Temple gardens

    by toonsarah Written Dec 18, 2013

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    Tenryu-ji Temple is one of the most important Zen temples in Kyoto and is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built in 1339 by the ruling shogun Ashikaga Takauji, who dedicated it to his predecessor, the Emperor Go-Daigo. These two were formerly allies but Takauji turned against the emperor in his struggle for supremacy over Japan. By building the temple, Takauji intended to appease the former emperor's spirits. Many of the temple buildings were repeatedly lost in fires and wars over the centuries, and most of the current halls date from the relatively recent Meiji Period (1868-1912).

    The main reason we came to Tenryu-ji was to see its gardens, which was just as well, as between December 2012 to March 2014 its main halls are being renovated and it is not possible to go inside. But in any case the gardens are considered the main draw here (they are designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty), and were among the loveliest we saw in Japan, I thought. Unlike the buildings they have survived unchanged through the centuries. At their heart, immediately in front of one of the main buildings, is a beautiful pond, Sōgen Pond. Various rocks are artfully placed in and around the water to look completely natural (in a technique known as ishigumi, literally “arranged rocks”), and large carp swim in the water. When we were here, in mid October, a few trees’ leaves were just turning into their bright autumn colours. Paths meandered among the trees past a number of little shrines and sculptures which are dotted around. This style of garden is known as a chisen-kaiyu-shiki or pond-stroll garden, which sums it up perfectly.
    Lying just south of the famous Bamboo Grove of Arashiyama (see next tip), Tenryu-ji also has its own small area of bamboo just inside the north gate, with more paths weaving through it. Find a quiet one and you can really absorb the strange sounds and atmosphere of this surreal-looking plant.

    The forested Mount Arashiyama and Mount Kameyama to the west form an attractive background to the garden. This is an excellent example of the Japanese garden design technique, shakkei, usually translated as “borrowed scenery". In this, the garden is designed in such a way that the surrounding scenery provides a background that complements and enhances the ambiance. Thus, the garden can be placed near an old forest or in front of an important landmark, such as a temple or a castle. But most frequently the garden designers used nearby hills or mountains, as here at Tenryū-ji.

    The gardens are open throughout the rebuilding work, from 8.30-17.30 April-October, and 8.30-17.00 November-March – the same hours as the temple, when open at all. Admission costs 500¥ for adults and 300¥ for school children and students (pre-school children go fee).

    Despite being busy, this temple felt quite peaceful compared to some others that we visited – perhaps the closure of its main buildings had kept some visitors away. We spent some time enjoying our surroundings before exiting from the north gate to visit the nearby Bamboo Grove.

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    Tenryuji Temple

    by hebaemam Written Apr 20, 2011
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    Tenryuji Temple, i think a must see specially if you are near by.
    "Ranked among Kyoto's five great Zen temples, Tenryuji is the largest and most impressive temple in Arashiyama. Founded in 1339 at the beginning of the Muromachi Period (1338-1573), the temple is one of Kyoto's many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In addition to its temple buildings, there are attractive gardens with walking paths. "
    i loved the garden sooooo much as usual....
    i would fancy having one like this.......
    Hours: 8:30 to 17:30 (until 17:00 from late October to late March)
    Closed: No closing days
    Admission: 500 yen for gardens, additional 100 yen to enter buildings

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  • Rabbityama's Profile Photo

    Tenryuji Temple

    by Rabbityama Updated Jul 20, 2010

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    Tenryuji Temple Garden
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    Tenryuji is the head temple of the Rinzai sect of Buddhism. It's one of the five main Zen temples in Kyoto and houses one of the large dragon paintings. The temple you see today dates back to the Meiji Period, but the famous garden is said to have survived the fire that burned the temple down in the past.

    The temple remains one of the highlights of the Arashiyama area. You can enter the temple, as well as walk along outside of it! There are even some paths on the opposite side of the garden. The temple is among Kyoto's World Heritage Sites.

    Entrance is 500 yen.

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  • bladedragon's Profile Photo

    Tenryu-ji

    by bladedragon Updated Jun 26, 2009

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    Tenryu-ji
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    Tenryu-ji (UNESCO listed) is considered number 1 from Kyoto Gozan (5 mountains / great Zen temples of Kyoto).
    Inside the temple there's this funny looking red Daruma.
    I think he was one of the Zen masters that was the head priest in Tenryuji.

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    TENRYUJI TEMPLE

    by RACCOON1 Updated Oct 11, 2007

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    TENRYUJI  ENTRANCE - FEE  600 Yen
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    A ZEN Buddhist Temple in NW Kyoto. A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE.

    Located in the Arishiyama District of Kyoto this Temple was first established in and around 1339 . The present Temple is from the Meiji Period but the graden survived the many fires and wars and has a much longer history.

    Not crowded at all and a tranquil garden.

    This site is a good start , if you want to see Kyoto , and take in three or even four temples in a morning. Namely Tenryuji, Ryoan Ji , Ninnannaji and even The Golden Temple.

    After Tenryuji take the Keifuku tram or taxi to Ryoan - JI.

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  • aukahkay's Profile Photo

    Tenryuji Temple (Temple of Heavenly Dragon)

    by aukahkay Updated Apr 8, 2007

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    Zen gardens of Tenryuji
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    Tenryuji is located in the Sagano district in the western part of Kyoto. It is the head temple of the Tenryuji branch of Rinzai Zan Buddhism. Established in 1339 by the shogun Ashikaga Takauji, it was built in memory of Emperor Go-Daigo. The temple complex consists of a series of interconnected halls, a lush zen garden full of cherry blossoms and a bamboo grove. The main attraction of this temple is the zen garden with various species of sakura.

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  • y_lyn's Profile Photo

    Tenryuji Temple

    by y_lyn Written Dec 15, 2007

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    Tenryuji is a Zen temple in the Arashiyama area of Kyoto. It has been ranked first among the city's "Five Great Zen Temples".

    Tenryuji has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995.

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  • yukisanto's Profile Photo

    Tenryuji Temple

    by yukisanto Written Feb 1, 2007

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    This quiet peaceful temple sits on a small hill in Arashiyama. It overlooks the town of Arashiyama. No one really comes up here.

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