”Tenryuji” Temple that Stands on Saga Arashiyama

Temple that Stands on Saga Arashiyama

Historical Reconciliation

Tenryuji is a Rinzai-sect temple built by Takauji Ashikaga in mourning for Emperor Godaigo. If you had wondered ”Really?” you have some insight in history. Takauji Ashikaga is the person who had revolted against the ”Kenmu Restoration act” proclaimed by the Emperor. Emperor Godaigo had ordered his subjugation. Zen priest, Musousoseki who had strong ties with both the Emperor and Takauji Ashikaga strongly suggested to Takauji to built a temple for his mourning as a symbol of reconciliation. Thus Tenryuji became the site to this historical reconciliation and Musousoseki became the first head priest.

Garden as it was when First Created

After completion, Tenryuji became top of the 5 temples of Kyoto, but after many tragedies such as fires and the Ounin War, most of the temple had been destroyed. The Sogenchi-teien, the garden Musousoseki had created, is the only part of the temple that still remains as it was upon its foundation. It is a garden surrounding the Sogen Pond and is a garden that changes its expression with the mountains, as it blends in with the Arashiyama mountains beyond the river, and the Kameyama mountain in the west. Tenryuji’s construction took time due to financial reasons and to solve this problem, Takauji’s brother Naoyoshi resumed trade with Yuan and used the profit from this for the construction cost. This was the famous ”Tenryuji boat”. Here, is another historical story tucked away.


Rinzai sect Tenryuji
68 Susukinobabacho Saga Tenryuji Ukyoku Kyoto
URL http://www.tenryuji.com/en/