Gardens (Japan)

Tenryu-ji, Kyoto

Tenryu-ji was once Kyoto’s leading Zen temple, with extensive grounds and 150 sub temples. It dominated the Arashiyama district where the aristocracy went on leisure outings. Ravaged by fire on eight separate occasions, it was rebuilt, most recently in Meiji times, retaining the original style. The temple was badly hit by the religious reforms of the era, meaning that it lost nine­tenths of its grounds. The Sogenchi Garden is the only feature to date back to the original foundation and played a key role in the inclusion of Tenryu-ji as part of the World Heritage Site of Ancient Kyoto.