Kyoto’s Tenryu-ji Temple
This is embarrassing. We went to Japan more than 2 months ago, and we still have pictures to post. Rather than wait on the ever-decreasing likelihood that we’ll get around to writing about all our amazing experiences, I’m just going to post the photos. Consider it an artistic expression, sans words, of our time.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day today, Alex is taking me to a fancy Japanese restaurant here in London. Maybe if we close our eyes we can imagine that we’re back in the Far East …
Anyway, here are some pictures from the Tenryu-ji Temple in Kyoto. The following text has been copied from the website Japan-Guide.com:
Tenryuji (天龍寺, Tenryūji) is the most important temple in Kyoto‘s Arashiyama district. It was ranked first among the city’s five great Zen temples, and is now registered as a world heritage site. Tenryuji is the head temple of its own school within the Rinzai Zen sect of Japanese Buddhism.
Tenryuji was built in 1339 by the ruling shogun Ashikaga Takauji. Takauji dedicated the temple to Emperor Go-Daigo, who had just passed away. The two important historic figures used to be allies until Takauji turned against the emperor in a struggle for supremacy over Japan. By building the temple, Takauji intended to appease the former emperor’s spirits.
Tenryuji’s buildings, were repeatedly lost in fires and wars over the centuries, and most of the current halls, including the main hall (Hojo), drawing hall (Shoin) and temple kitchen (Kuri) with its distinctive small tower, date from the relatively recent Meiji Period (1868-1912).
Unlike the temple buildings, Tenryuji’s garden survived the centuries in its original form. Created by the famous garden designer Muso Soseki, who also designed the gardens of Kokedera and other important temples, the beautiful landscape garden features a central pond surrounded by rocks, pine trees and the forested Arashiyama mountains. Muso Soseki also served as Tenryuji’s first head priest.