Kyoto : The Dragon in Arashiyama

Tenryuji 天龍寺 - Flowers

30th May 2011. Written by Xin Li.
Kyoto, Japan
Arashiyama 嵐山 is located in the west of Kyoto, this scenic tourist spot is usually crowded with tourists. However ever since the Fukushima incident, the tsunamis, earthquakes and tropical storm Songda, Arashiyama is nothing but crowded in late May.

Arashiyama 嵐山 - Ricksaw

Rickshaw drivers were riding around with their empty rickshaws looking for the few tourists and souvenir stores simply wait and hope for better times.

Arashiyama 嵐山 - Bamboo Groves

Hopefully the situation has improved a lot by now.

Arashiyama 嵐山 - Bamboo Groves

Nonetheless, the drop in tourist crowds offered me the opportunity to explore a peaceful and serene Arashiyama.

Tenryuji 天龍寺 - Pathway to Temple

Tenryuji still see some crowd consisted of mainly Chinese and Japanese tourists.

Tenryuji 天龍寺 - Passageway

Tenryuji 天龍寺 also known as the “Heavenly Dragon Temple” was founded by Ashikaga Takauji in 1339 to venerate Gautama Buddha and to console the spirit of Emperor Go-Daigo.

Tenryuji 天龍寺 - Passageway

The temple used to be a villa of the Emperor Go-Daigo himself and it was earlier occupied by the Danrin-ji Temple since the 9th century, the first Zen temple in Japan.

Tenryuji 天龍寺 - Sogen-chi

The temple’s 14th century garden is one of the oldest in Japan. The abbot’s garden centers on the pond of Sogen-chi.

Tenryuji 天龍寺 - Looking out of the Abbot's Garden

The garden makes use of shakkei or ‘borrowed landscape’ technique.

Tenryuji 天龍寺 - Garden

It has a wide variety of plants including flowers and herbs.

Tenryuji 天龍寺 - Flower Garden

Tenryuji 天龍寺 - Flowers

Tenryuji 天龍寺 - Garden

The garden has some Chinese influence seen in its rock arrangements and waterfalls.

Tenryuji 天龍寺 - Garden

Today, the temple is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site and the head temple of the Tenryu-ji branch of Rinzai Zen Buddhism.

Tenryuji 天龍寺 - Bamboo Grove

It cost 500 Yen to visit the temple’s gardens and an additional 100 to visit the building itself.

Tenryuji 天龍寺 - Roof Tiles

Just outside the temple, you can find the Chiri-men Craft Museum of Arashiyama. Chiri-men is a traditional Japanese weaving technique that has at least 500 years’ worth of history.

Arashiyama 嵐山 - Chiri-men Craft Museum of Arashiyama

The Museum sells a variety of products made of cloth or silk fabric made from this technique.

Arashiyama 嵐山 - Chiri-men Craft Museum of Arashiyama

You can find little goldfishes, rabbits, kimono and handbags etc on sale here.

Arashiyama 嵐山 - Chiri-men Craft Museum of Arashiyama

Arashiyama is accessible via Arashiyama Station on the Hankyu Line and a walking distance from JR Saga-Arashiyama Station as well as Keifuku Arashiyama Station.

Buses also travel to Arashiyama but it is outside the Bus Pass Free Zone. The Kyoto City Buses are No.28 and No.1.


  1. Hi!

    Yes it is! I would go back to arashiyama and uji when ever i visit kyoto.




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