Tenryuji   天龍寺

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Traditional garden Tenryuji.


View pond Tenryuji.

Bamboo and artificial landscapes

Discover Arashiyama, its walks, the Tenryuji and its sea of bamboo and the village where locals still cultivate the slow life.

Take a bus from Kyoto Station, about a one hour journey, gently bumping along the roads. A lake into which a steep mountain dives, a nice little path meandering peacefully along its banks and a few shops where you can taste tofu skin (yuba), a local specialty of the Arashiyama district. The Tenryuji is a Zen Buddhist temple of the Rinzai sect, founded in the west of the capital, in 1339-1342, by the monk Muso Soseki (1275-1351). It is the first of five Gozan (Five big temples) of Kyoto and has a wonderful garden that in every season breathes a refined beauty. A stone path runs along a moss garden, like vegetable prints, made with a sparing mix of greens and orangey browns.

The temple garden was designed by Muso himself, a great landscape gardener and architect of Saihoji, where every part of the garden is in perfect harmony with the surrounding natural elements such as mountains in the distance, escaping from the fog. Go through the gate at the end of the temple park and you arrive in the bamboo grove: a path crawls through the vast bamboo forest, leading peacefully toward the village where you can continue your walk. Feel the freshness that reigns in the midst of the slender trunks, admire the crystal-clear, anissed-green light: a feast for the senses!

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