Tenryu-ji Temple

Tenryu-ji Temple © Iry

About Tenryu-ji Temple

Tenryu-ji is a Rinzai sect Zen temple in Sagano and is one of the Kyoto Gozan (the 5 most important Rinzai temples of Kyoto). In 1339 the first generation shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate Ashikaga Takauji invited the Zen Priest Muso Soseki to build this shrine to mourn Emperor Go-Daigo. In order to build a magnificent temple, Ashikaga Takauji opened up trade with China in order to cover the cost of building it. The temple was destroyed by fire and the current one was relocated and rebuilt during the Meiji era (1868–1912). The premises are about 30 hectares, about only 1/10th the size of the original. From October 21 to March 20th the visitation hours are reduced by 30 minutes.

The prayer hall’s Unryu-zu (Cloud Dragon)

The sermon hall was destroyed in the chaos following the end of the Edo era and the current one is a relocated building that was built at the end of the Edo era (1603–1868). The "Unryu-zu" ceiling is 10.6m front to back and 12.6m side to side and was painted in 1997 by the Japanese artist Kayama Matazo Kayama. It is a dragon that appears to be looking at the viewer no matter where you are standing at and so it is called the "Happo-nirami-ryu" ("Dragon that is watching from all sides"). On weekends and holidays it is limitedly available to the public, but during the worship periods in spring/summer/fall it is available all the time. The public hours are from 9:00 to 17:00, and from 10/21 to 3/20 it closes at 16:00. There previously existed an Unryu-zu painted by Suzuki Shonen but it was heavily damaged. Despite this, the part that was preserved is shown in every February. The viewing fee per person is 500 yen. 

Sogenchi Garden

This pond garden is the first site specified as a historic and scenic beauty spot, and is a strolling path garden focused around the Sogenchi pond. The garden is in nearly the same shape as it was when Muso Soseki made it. Part of the garden incorporates Arashiyama and Kameyama into the scenery and the fall foliage is beautiful.


Take the Keifuku Railway’s Arashiyama Line to Arashiyama Station (嵐山駅) and you are right there. On the JR Sagano Line go to Sagano Arashiyama Station (嵯峨嵐山駅) and walk 13 minutes. On the Hankyu’s Arashiyama Station it is 15 minutes. The nearest bus stops are Arashiyama Tenryu-ji-mae (嵐山天龍寺前) or Keifuku Arashiyama Station (京福嵐山駅前)

Image Gallery: Tenryu-ji Temple

Description: Tenryu-ji Temple

Sights Tenryu-ji Temple (天龍寺)
Address 68 Sagatenryuji Susukinobabacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Phone / Fax Phone: 075-881-1235 / Fax: 075-864-2424
Duration 30Minutes
Business Hours Monday:08:30-17:30 (Last entry by: 17:30)
Tuesday:08:30-17:30 (Last entry by: 17:30)
Wednesday:08:30-17:30 (Last entry by: 17:30)
Thursday:08:30-17:30 (Last entry by: 17:30)
Friday:08:30-17:30 (Last entry by: 17:30)
Saturday:08:30-17:30 (Last entry by: 17:30)
Sunday:08:30-17:30 (Last entry by: 17:30)
Admission Fee Pay admission: 500yen
Recommended Season
Spring (March - May)
Summer (June - August) Autumn (September - November) Winter (December - February)
Recommended target Family Couples Groups Infant & Toddler (ages 0-6) Child (ages 7-17) Adult (ages 20+) Single traveller

Map: Tenryu-ji Temple