OWL Magazine Korea

Kyoto Arashiyama, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage “Tenryu-ji Temple”

In Arashiyama, located in the western part of Kyoto, you can find various tourist attractions, including one of Japan’s renowned scenic spots, “Tenryu-ji Temple,” which is also recognized as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.

Tenryu-ji Temple is famous not only for the temple itself but also for the garden with a pond that can be found within its premises.

“Tenryu-ji Temple in Kyoto Arashiyama”

Tenryu-ji Temple is a prominent Zen Buddhist temple in the Sagano district of Kyoto, listed as one of the “Five Great Temples of Kyoto Zen.” It was established in 1339 by Ashikaga Takauji, a shogun who founded the Muromachi shogunate, to mourn the passing of Emperor Go-Daigo.

However, due to eight subsequent fires, the temple suffered extensive damage, and as a result, it has been restored to only about one-tenth of its original size.

“The Sogenchi Pond Garden that Made Tenryu-ji Famous”

While Tenryu-ji Temple itself is notable, it is the garden behind the temple, known as the “Sogenchi Pond Garden,” that attracts more attention. This garden was designated as Japan’s first historic site and special scenic spot. Sogenchi Pond Garden is a traditional Japanese garden with a central pond featuring a Zen layout.

Designed for strolling around the central pond, the garden is particularly famous for its picturesque autumn scenery when the leaves change color.

However, to enter this garden, an admission fee is required. The entrance fees for Tenryu-ji Temple’s main hall are 100 yen, for the Dharma Hall (Hatto) is 500 yen, and for access to the garden is 500 yen.

“Numerous Small Temples Can Be Found Throughout Tenryu-ji”

On the path leading to the main hall of Tenryu-ji, numerous small temples are clustered. Exploring each of these temples individually would take a considerable amount of time. As I didn’t have the time to explore them all, I had to pass by quickly.

I didn’t visit the famous garden either. In fact, the reason for my visit to Arashiyama was to see the “bamboo grove,” and I was worried that I might be too late to explore it properly. Therefore, I decided to first explore the bamboo grove and, if time allowed, return to Tenryu-ji to visit the garden.

Unfortunately, time didn’t permit this, but if you have the leisure, it’s a place worth visiting in Arashiyama.

“Japan Kyoto Tenryu-ji Temple”

  • Address: 68 Sagatenryuji Susukinobabacho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-8385, Japan
  • Phone: +81 75-881-1235
  • Website: http://www.tenryuji.com/