About Tenryu-ji Temple
Kyoto’s Tenryu-ji is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with one of the most magical gardens and magnificent mountain views. I loved how the steep Arashiyama mountains harmoniously blend in with the garden at temple.
Tenryu-ji Temple is a few steps away from the main bus stop in Arashiyama. It was damaged over the centuries from wars and fires. Most of the temple was rebuilt in the late 19th century and maintains the spirit of the original structure and decor. However, the garden is the one area that survived centuries of damage.
The garden is meant to calm one’s spirit, but instead, it was chaotic with shuffling feet and selfie sticks. As you follow the crowd and make your way away from the main hall, the garden exit leads you towards the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. If you weren’t able to find your zen at the temple, maybe the hypnotizing way the tall bamboo stalks swap will do the trick.
If you’re visiting Tenryu-ji Temple in the fall or winter, be sure to wear thick black socks. Visitors are required to remove their shoes before entering the temple’s main hall. The open floor plan and wooden floorboards mean there’s not much insulation from the cold.
After viewing the garden from inside the hall, you can put your shoes back on and explore the garden outside. It complements the beautiful landscape of the neighboring area with a central pond that’s surrounded by rocks, pine trees and the beautiful Arashiyama mountains.
What a peaceful photo, right? Well, it took me and my very patient boyfriend half an hour to capture this. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one who thought to take shelter from the rain at this temple. It also didn’t help that our visit to Kyoto landed right on the weekend – the busiest time of week.