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Japan is known for its modern cities and leading technologies but is also a country that puts high value and regard to nature. Gardens all over Japan, just like the Sogenchi Garden in Arashiyama, Kyoto, epitomize the harmony the Japanese have with nature. I was so engrossed with the life teeming around the Tenryu-ji Temple that I practically didn't give much attention to the temple itself.

    The Tenryu-ji Temple: A UNESCO World Heritage Site

    The Tenryuji Temple and Sogenchi Garden can be found at the edge of the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto. In fact, you would see its gate right before you go to the bamboo grove, and therefore is reachable from the Arashiyama Station.

    [Read: Kyoto Travel Tip: How to Photograph Arashiyama Bamboo Forest]

    The Tenryuji Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was founded in 1339 and completed in 1345. As mentioned, I was lured by the beauty around the temple and have a vague picture (memory) of the structure itself.

    In Photos: Getting lost within the Sogenchi Garden

    This garden was not really part of our itinerary but we decided to go and see inside to also have a short rest after walking a lot earlier. You will definitely do some walking inside, but in a very relaxing space.

    I have a keen sense to look for details when I am surrounded by nature and that's what happened inside the Sogenchi Garden. I was constantly scanning the surrounding, absorbing and immersing myself with things that I found interesting ---the moss, the peculiar flora, the insects, the tiny fish in the stream (not just the koi), a hollow in a trunk, the mushrooms, and a lot, lot more.

    Get lost with me once again.

    The entrance to the temple is just right outside the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest.

    A first look at the pond.

    The pond

    Before we continue, here's some mobile photos with minimal color adjustment to show the close-to-reality-colors of the place at that time. It was October, though, 'autumn trees' weren't that many yet. 

    Right outside the Tenryuji Temple

    Prepare for more photos

    Access to the The Tenryuji Temple and Sogenchi Garden 

    Again, it is easy to get to the Tenryuji Temple if you know your way to the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest already.

    Admission Fees

    Garden Only:
    High school students and older: ¥500
    Elementary and middle school students: ¥300
    Preschool children: Free

    Tenryu-ji Garden and Buildings:
    Admission fees are the same as above, plus ¥300

    Above admission information are from the official website of Tenryuji. Check it out if you wish to know more: http://www.tenryuji.com/en/visit/index.html


    The Tenryu-ji Temple and Sogenchi Garden is a must in your itinerary especially if you're going to the bamboo forest anyway. The bamboo forest has its own charm but experiencing the magnificence of Japanese gardens is a whole different experience.

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