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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai - Kyoto - Western Kyoto
Tenryuji Temple 
# 23   of 60 most visited
sights in Kyoto

jump to:   access  -  admission  -  hotels  -  ratings  -  tours  -  links

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.

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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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Khaosan Kyoto Guest House
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Reasonably priced 3-star hotel located just across the street from Kyoto Station.
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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 401 users):
82/100
  recommended

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Japanese Links
Tenryuji Temple
Official website.

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