November 26, 2013

Kyoto : Tenryu-ji

So I've been using the Kyoto City Bus for the past 2 days to get around Tokyo. Today, it's time for a change. I walked to Kyoto Station and headed to the JR platform.

The area I am going, Arashiyama, is not covered in the Kyoto City Bus One-day pass zone. You can still take a bus there, but there will be an additional fare instead of the normal 220 yen flat rate around Kyoto.

Just as I reached the platform, there's a train departing. Just in time. I hopped on board the train, and reached Saga-Arashiyama Station 20 minutes later. The fare was only 230 yen.


Now, there's a lot to see in Arashiyama. But I had little time. So I followed the Arashiyama guide in Kyoto Walks. It stated there the time required for walking is 4 hours. Good enough for me.

 
First on the list, Tenryu-ji.

Somon, the front gate of Tenryu-ji


The temple is the head temple of the Tenryu-ji branch of Rinzai Zen Buddhism. Established in 1339, it is the largest and one of the most popular temples in Arashiyama. And a UNESCO World Heritage Site too.

I was told by the lady at the ticketing counter that the temple's Main Hall is being renovated until 2014. Sensing my disappointment, the lady quickly told me that the temple's main attraction is actually its Zen garden, which has been around since the 14th century.

So I bought the entrance ticket to the garden.

But before that, I made a quick visit to the Dharma Hall. It contains an image of Gautama Buddha, flanked by two guardians.



On the ceiling, there's a painting of a dragon, called Unryuzu. What's so unique about the cloud dragon painting is that regardless of which direction it is viewed from, the dragon appears to look directly at you.



I was so impressed, thus trying to stand at different locations just to prove that it won't work. But the dragon definitely looked back at me wherever I stood. All thanks to the happo-nirami style, an illusion created by the fact that the dragon's left eye is located at the exact center of the circle surrounding the entire painting.
 
Next, to the garden we go!


Ohojo building








 Sogenchi pond and Ohojo






Sogenchi pond and Mount Arashi



So beautiful right? The pond, the trees, the mountain at the back. I'm sure it would be absolutely more beautiful in Spring or Autumn. The garden can be crowded, but magically, strolling through the garden brought peace and a relaxing feel to me.
I was zen-ned. haha...

I continued strolling around the temple ground, till I arrived at the north gate.



Tahoden (Hall of Many Treasures)
 

some froggy fountain


water points to wash your hands before entering a temple

Tenryu-ji is open all year round
Visiting hours from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm
Entrance fee is 500 yen (garden), 100 yen (Main Hall), 500 yen (Unryuzu)
Access : 10 minutes walk from JR Saga-Arashiyama Station

Exiting Tenryu-ji by the north gate brought me to Arashiyama's famous bamboo grove...

2 comments:

BIBIE KARIM said...

Mun, North Gate tu ada signboard x. Going in 3 weeks time, risau giler sesat barat kat sana. I pinjam ur walking map tu ye. Tq.

rara said...

@Bibie: Takde sign board but no worries.. takkan sesat punya la. hehe.. just follow the walking path and the crowd. Dah nampak buluh2 tu dah dekat gate dah..
Sure dah tak sabar nak pergi asyik berangan je kan?