Another shrine and beautiful garden in Kyoto
Tenryuji is said to be 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. (source: http://www.japan-guide.com)
I visited this beautiful temple and amazing gardens during my visit to Kyoto and found that it was definitely a place I was glad to have visited. Another amazingly serene place but again very popular so worth getting up early to visit or going during the week days.
The gardens were beautiful with cherry blossom trees throughout. The flowers were also very beautiful and I was fortunate to visit at the right time when they were in blossom.
At one time, the massive grounds were said to contain some 150 sub-temples, however, the temple was plagued with numerous fires, and all of the original buildings have been destroyed.
The temple complex met with fire over seven times so most of the buildings as they stand today are reconstructions. Unlike the temple buildings, Tenryuji’s garden survived the centuries in its original form and features a central pond surrounded by rocks, pine trees and the forested Arashiyama mountains.
The complex also has a pebble garden (similar to the famous one at Ryonan-ji Temple) but without the distinctive rock formations.