Heavenly Dragon Temple, or Tenryu-ji, is best known for its zen garden, a long and winding path lined with thousands of towering bamboo stalks.
Tenryū-ji — more formally known as Tenryū Shiseizen-ji — is the head temple of the Tenryū branch of Rinzai Zen Buddhism. Founded by Ashikaga Takauji in 1339 and originally headed by Musō Soseki, the temple was built primarily to venerate Gautama Buddha. While the rest of the temple was rebuilt after burning down, the zen garden has survived, uninterrupted, since its planting.
As a temple related to both the Ashikaga family and Emperor Go-Daigo, the temple is held in high esteem, and is ranked number one among Kyoto’s so-called Five Mountains, or Kyoto Gozan. In 1994, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto”.
The bamboo trail can be accessed via the North Gate.