Tenryuji Temple: Must visit Zen Garden registered as World Heritage Site.

Tenryuji Temple

Never forget to visit Tenryuji temple for Arashiyama&Sagano area. The World Heritage Site Tenryuji temple is in front of Randen Arashiya station.

This is head temple of Rinzai Zen Tenryuji-ha sect and No.1 in 5 big zen temple in Kyoto.

There are various flowers bloom season by season in Zen Garden of Tenryuji.

You must go this temple when you go to Arashiyama.

The history of Tenryuji

Tenryuji temple is at the bottom of Ogurayama(Kameyama) mountain which is know for Hyakunin Isshu(100 poems).

But originally, there was Danrinji temple established by a wife of Saga emperor in the start of Heian period(9th century). Darning temple was abolished after 400 years.(Danrinji temple has been rebuilt at 1964 at different place in Sagano.

Then Kamakura period(1185-1333), Gosaga emperor and this son Kameyama emperor built villa in this place. And Godaigo emperor grown up in this villa. This Godaigo emperor and Shogun Ashikaga Takauji strangled for power.

After died Godaigo emperor, Takauji changed this villa into a temple, this is the origen of Tenryuji.

He planed to give different name at first, but his brother Tadayoshi had a dream that golden dragon was flying on Katsura(Oi) river, so he named this temple Tenryuji(Dragon on the sky) temple.

The buildings in Tenryuji temple were fired many times and rebuild, most buildings were built in Meiji period(1868年–1912).

Big zen garden in Tenryuji

I recommend for you to visit zen garden in Tenryuji at least one time.

The garden by a buddhist Muso Soseki has been registered as World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Many flowers bloom season by season in the garden where next to Bamboo Forest. The view from a hill behind the temple is fantastic.

Garden of Tenryuji Temple

Interesting Drawing of Dragon

There is a Drawing of Dragon by an artist Kayama Matazo on the ceiling of a building called Hatto. This drawing of dragon called Happo Nirami that the dragon always gazes you anywhere you stand.

This drawing is only open to the public on Saturday, Sunday and holiday.(But every day open in special period in Spring and Autumn.) If it was open when you visit, I recommend to see it.(Entrance fee is 500 yen.)

How to access to Tenryuji

By train

Tenryuji temple is in front of Randen(Keifuku Railway) Arashiyama station.

If you come from Kyoto station, get off the train at JR Saga-Arashiyama station, and go for west from south gate of the station. Then you’ll find Tenryuji in 10 minutes walk.

If you use Hankyu Arashiyama station, just go through Togetsukyo bridge and go straight, then you’ll find Tenryuji on the left in 10 minutes.

By bus

-City Bus
Route 11, 28 or 93, get off at a bus stop “Arashiyama Tenryuji Mae”.

-Kyoto Bus
Route 61, 72 or 83, get off at a bus stop “Keifuku Arashiyama Eki(station) Mae”.

Fee and other information

Opening hours

8:30 – 17:30
note: Close 17:00 between 21h of October to 20th of March.

Entrance fee for Garden

500 yen for student or adults.
300 yen for elementary or middle school student.
Free for child before student.

For some building

Additional free 100 yen.
note: You cannot enter when there’s events.


For car 1000 yen at once.
For bus 1000 yen for 1 hour(after that, 500 yen for each 30 minutes.)
For taxi 500 yen for 2 hours.


68 Susukinobaba-cho, Saga-Tenryuji, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, 616-8385 Japan



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