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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai - Kyoto - Western Kyoto
Tenryuji Temple 
# 23   of 59 most visited
sights in Kyoto

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Tenryuji's Kuri building

Tenryuji (V, Tenryūji) 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 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.

Inside the Drawing Hall (Shoin)

Tenryuji's buildings, were repeatedly lost in fires and wars over the centuries, and most of the current halls, including the main hall (Hojo), drawing hall (Shoin) and temple kitchen (Kuri) with its distinctive small tower, date from the relatively recent Meiji Period (1868-1912).

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.

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there

Tenryuji is just a short walk from the Keifuku Arashiyama Station, which is connected by the small Keifuku trains (also referred to as Randen) with the Ryoanji/Kinkakuji area and Omiya Station along Shijo-dori Street. The temple can also be reached in a 5-10 minute walk from JR Saga-Arashiyama Station, which is connected with Kyoto Station by train (10-15 minutes, 240 yen).

How to get to and around Kyoto

Hours and Fees
Hours:8:30 to 17:30 (until 17:00 from late October to late March)
Closed:No closing days
Admission:500 yen (an extra 100 yen for entrance into the temple buildings)

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Hotels and Ryokan
Kyoto offers a wide range of accommodation for all budgets and tastes, including historic ryokan, Western style hotels and low-budget hostels. Among the most attractive districts to stay are the Kyoto Station area, the city center around Shijo Street and the Higashiyama District.
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Arashiyama Hanaikada
A little, superior ryokan right near Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama. Free transfer at JR station. Private onsen bath.
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Backpackers Hostel Ks House Kyoto
One of Kyoto's most popular hostels. A ten minute walk from Kyoto Station.
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Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Located inside Kyoto Station, this is Kyoto's most convenient 4-star hotel.
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Hyatt Regency Kyoto Hotel
Elegant luxury hotel located near Sanjusangendo Temple.
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Khaosan Kyoto Guest House
Cheap and popular hostel located in the heart of the city near Kawaramachi Station.
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New Miyako Hotel Kyoto
Reasonably priced 3-star hotel located just across the street from Kyoto Station.
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Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto
Modern hotel along Sanjo Street close to Pontocho and other dining options.
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Tours and Packages
Kyoto Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Kyoto and surroundings.

User Ratings
Ratings for Tenryuji Temple:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 373 users):
82/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 776):
283.  Ninnaji Temple (Kyoto)   82/100
284.  Mount Shirane (Kusatsu Onsen)   82/100
285.  Suizenji Garden (Kumamoto)   82/100
286.  Daigoji Temple (Kyoto)   82/100
287.  Chaya Districts (Kanazawa)   82/100
288.  Tenryuji Temple (Kyoto)   82/100
289.  Hirosaki Castle (Hirosaki)   82/100
290.  Kokoen Garden (Himeji)   82/100
291.  Kongobuji Temple (Mount Koya)   82/100
292.  Matsuyama Castle (Matsuyama)   82/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 907):
95.  Kappabashi Street (Tokyo)   794
96.  Engakuji Temple (Kamakura)   777
97.  Pontocho (Kyoto)   773
98.  Sengakuji Temple (Tokyo)   772
99.  Odori Park (Sapporo)   767
100.  Tenryuji Temple (Kyoto)   766
101.  Osaka Station City (Osaka)   763
102.  Futarasan Shrine (Nikko)   759
103.  Daitokuji Temple (Kyoto)   743
104.  Owakudani (Hakone)   740

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Japanese Links
Tenryuji Temple
Official website.

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