Irises in the garden
One of many interest points
Tenryuji is a temple complex in Arashiyama that has a very nice, and very large, Zen garden. If you opt for the temple tour, you can walk on the cool-looking covered walkways and the veranda of the temple buildings. If you opt for the garden admission, you can wander around the entire garden, which can easily take 30 minutes to an hour. The garden is interesting, and surprisingly meditative. There are many things that focus the interest, but they are spaced so that only one occupies the center of your view. I assume that the dead stumps are a reminder of mortality; not sure about that. If you plan on sitting in the garden (or, if you are so worn out that you cannot walk any farther), you might want to bring mosquito repellent. I definitely recommend this temple for the garden; it was recommended to me by the owner of SandalWood, and it was well-worth the time.

The garden faces east, so the best time for photography is probably 11 am; too much earlier and the temple will cast a shadow on it. Although, I am pretty happy with my afternoon shots.

Tenryuji has an official web site. There isn’t much about the temple itself, but apparently you can apply to practice zazen with the monks. Don’t plan on getting much sleep, though: the day begins at 3 am.

Small rock garden at the temple entrance
The garden