Enjoy the Changing Seasons at Tenryū-ji
Of all the places I've been to in Japan thus far, I can honestly say Tenryū-ji is among the most beautiful. With spring just around the corner, it's a perfect time to plan a trip out to western Kyoto to see this temple and its immaculate grounds.
Nestled at the foot of the mountains in Arashiyama, Tenryū-ji was first built in 1339 to honor Emperor Go-Daigo. It was established by shogun Ashikaga Takauji and was consecrated in 1344. Despite the damaging effects of eight different fires throughout its history, this large compound has been rebuilt and time and again and meticulously cared for. The grounds feature many buildings, including a large and a small Hojo you can enter as well as a Sogen Pond Garden that is absolutely breathtaking as the trees, flowers and various plants begin to blossom. Lastly, you can enjoy a vegetarian meal on the grounds at Shigetsu.
Walking the grounds is a very peaceful experience, but be sure to bring a camera. I also love that the surrounding area of Arashiyama offers several great places to eat, enjoy a cup of matcha and pick up unique souvenirs to take home like Kyoto's famous fabrics and washi paper. Located near the Katsura River and a bamboo forest, you'll have no shortage of things to do.
I've been to this temple twice now and am planning another visit this season. Only a short ride on the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto, it's a place not to be missed.
You can read more about my adventures around Japan on my blog, www.100tacks.com.
Tenryū-ji Basic Info
Open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 17:30 p.m. (From late October to
late March, the temple grounds close at 17:00 p.m.)
Adults -- ¥500 (+ ¥100 to access temple buildings)
Children -- ¥300 (+ ¥100 to access temple buildings)
Preschool age children or younger -- FREE
Cars -- ¥1,000
Buses -- ¥1,000 per hour
Taxis -- ¥500 for two hours
Getting to Tenryū-ji
Keifuku Dentetsu Arashiyama Line (Arashiyama Station), JR Sagano Line
(Saga-Arashiyama Station), Hankyu Line (Arashiyama Station)
Shi Bus Line (11, 28 or 93 to Arashiyama Tenryu-ji Mae stop), Kyoto Bus Line
(61, 72 or 83 to Arashiyama Tenryu-ji Mae)