Tenryuji Temple

Kyoto, Japan

Tenryuji Temple

8.6

Tenryū-ji (天龍寺), formally known as Tenryū Shiseizen-ji (天龍資聖禅寺), is the head temple of the Tenryū-ji branch of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism, located in Susukinobaba-chō, Ukyō Ward, Kyoto, Japan. The temple was founded by Ashikaga Takauji in 1339, primarily to venerate Gautama Buddha, and its first chief priest was Musō Soseki. Construction was completed in 1345. As a temple related to both the Ashikaga family and Emperor Go-Daigo, the temple is held in high esteem, and is ranked number one among Kyoto's so-called Five Mountains. In 1994, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto".

In the early Heian period, Empress Tachibana no Kachiko, wife of Emperor Saga, founded a temple called Danrin-ji on the site of present-day Tenryū-ji. The temple fell into disrepair over the next four hundred years.




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