The Tenryuji is the main temple of the Rinzai Zen Buddhism sect of the same name and is located in the Arashiyama district in the northwest of the city of Kyoto. It is the most important Zen temple in the city and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The temple was built in 1339 by Shogun Ashikaga Takauji, who dedicated it to the recently deceased Emperor Go-Daigo. Both men were former allies until Takauji rebelled against the emperor in the struggle for supremacy in Japan. The temple should pacify the spirit of the deceased.
The buildings of Tenryuji have been repeatedly destroyed by fire over the centuries, so that the current complex largely dates from the Meiji period (1868-1912). In contrast, the surrounding garden, which was designed by the well-known master of gardening, Muso Soseki, is still almost entirely original.
Especially in autumn, when the foliage of the trees there and the Arashiyama mountains visible behind them turn red and yellow, the Tenryuji and its garden are a popular destination.
15 minute walk from Arashiyama train station and easily accessible from Kyoto station via city or municiple bus.
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