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“One of Kyoto's most beautiful temples”
Review of Tenryuji Temple

Tenryuji Temple
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Private Tour: Arashiyama and Fushimi Inari Tour from Osaka
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Sagano Bamboo Grove and Arashiyama Walking Tour With Yakatabune Lunch Cruise
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Arashiyama and Sagano Walking Food Tour
Ranked #20 of 1,235 things to do in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed July 29, 2012

I visited Tenryuji (Temple of the Heavenly Dragon) several times during my six-month deployment to Japan. I found it to be one of the most beautiful temple complexes for the beauty of its gardens, the nearby bamboo forest, and its Zen restaurant Shigetsu. It was definitely my favorite temple in Arashiyama, and would be my first stop if it is your first time to the area. It's about 40 minutes by train from the central Kyoto train station; there is plenty of signage from the train station to the temple, unlike some of the smaller temples in Arashiyama. Be sure to give yourself enough time to leisurely explore the gardens, which are some of the best in Kyoto.

There is a small gift shop that sells several different photo books of Tenryuji's gardens and temple grounds in various seasons; this makes a great souvenir and wasn't overly expensive (I believe the book I selected was about 1200 yen and included English captions).

If you're interested in eating at the Zen (vegan) restaurant Shigetsu, you have to make a reservation in advance, but it is well worth it; there is a separate listing for Shigetsu on TripAdvisor.

Thank Bundtlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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571 - 575 of 1,451 reviews

Reviewed July 4, 2012

the area including the bridge (which is supposed to be special) is very commercialized already. The garden is probably nicest in fall. Worth a short stop. Well connected to rail system.

Thank Mathias S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2012

As part of a day trip to Arashiyama to see the macaques, we also visited the Tenryuji Temple. It is one of the Five Mountain temples and as such played a critical role in Japan's history. Apart from the historical importance, the gardens are truly impressive. Like so many temples in the Kyoto area, this can get very crowded, so getting there earlier or later in the day is probably best. It is also right next to the famous Bamboo Grove and there are lots of other temples and shrines close by.

Thank Bonasa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2012

After a delightful walk along the Bamboo Forest of Sagano, there is nothing more relaxing, beautiful and zen than a stop at Tenryuji Temple!
It is the most important temple in Kyoto's Arashiyama district. It was ranked first among the city's five great Zen temples, and is now registered as a world heritage site. Tenryuji is the head temple of its own school within the Rinzai Zen sect of Japanese Buddhism.
Tenryuji was built in 1339, according to the indication, by the ruling shogun Ashikaga Takauji. Takauji dedicated the temple to Emperor Go-Daigo, who had just passed away. The two important historic figures used to be allies until Takauji turned against the emperor in a struggle for supremacy over Japan. By building the temple, Takauji intended to appease the former emperor's spirits.
Unlike the temple buildings, Tenryuji's garden survived the centuries in its original form. Created by the famous garden designer Muso Soseki, who also designed the gardens of Kokedera and other important temples, the beautiful landscape garden features a central pond surrounded by rocks, pine trees and the forested Arashiyama mountains. Muso Soseki also served as Tenryuji's first head priest, according to the leaflet we receive at the entrance.
The highlight is not the Temple itself, though. It's the gardens! They're a wonder, and I bet you'll enjoy the same way I did.

5  Thank Schwartzkopf_Reiser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2012

The garden is just beautiful and the pavilion and the temple was immaculate. Impressive.

Thank OrapanH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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