Saturday, 16 November 2013


On Friday I went to Tenryu-ji Temple in Arashiyama. Tenryu-ji (temple of the Heavenly Dragon) is a World Cultural Heritage Site and was established in 1339. The site of Tenryu-ji had earlier been occupied by Danrin-ji, the first ever Zen temple in Japan. Since it`s founding the temple has been ravaged by fires eight times so many of the buildings are not the originals. However the landscape garden behind the main hall is one of the oldest in Japan. When we went, the leaves were just starting to turn red so it looked very beautiful. One of the main features of the temple is the painting of a dragon on the ceiling of one of the halls. The painting is actually very new, it was completed in 1997 and is called the Cloud Dragon. The dragon is painted so that it appears to be looking at you wherever you view it from. This illusion is due to the fact that the left eye is located exactly in the centre of the nine metre wide circle surrounding the painting. Unfortunately, like most temples in Japan, you are not allowed to photos inside. But I made up for this by taking many outside! Below are just a few I took during the day on the way to the temple and in the temple gardens.


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