Tenryū-ji Temple is in the middle of Sagano/Arashiyama which is one of the most popular areas among visitors to Kyoto. The Tenryū-ji Temple , a Zen Buddhist temple, has an excellent Chisen-Kaiyu-Shiki (pond-stroll) garden that was laid out by a garden designer of genius, Muso Soseki (Muso Kokushi, or the Most Reverend Priest Muso, 1275-1351). Sogen-chi pond and Ishigumi (arranged rocks) in the garden are very much worth to see.
Tenryū-ji Temple is the head temple of the Tenryū-ji branch of Rinzai Zen sect and one of World Cultural Heritage sites of Kyoto.
In the year 1339, Priest Muso Soseki made a proposal to the first Muromachi Shogun, Ashikaga Takauji (1305-1358) and his brother Tadayoshi (1306-1352) about establishing a temple for the late emperor Go-Daigo (1288-1339), who had initially coordinated with the samurai brothers to overthrow the Kamakura Shogunate and then changed to be the deadly enemy of them. They agreed with the priest but the newly-established Shogunate government did not have enough money so that they had to start trade with China to make funds for building the temple.
In the year 1345, the Zen temple was officially founded with Muso Soseki being the founder. The buildings of the temple suffered fires several times during its history. The present O-Hojo building was rebuilt in 1899 followed by other buildings.
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