We spent a good portion of the day visiting Arashiyama in the outskirts of Kyoto. It was easy to get there by train from Kyoto Station. It’s a touristy area with some really nice scenery, especially in the cherry blossom season.
Tenryuji is one of the most important zen temples of Japanese Buddhism in Arashiyama and it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple was originally built in 1339 but some of the buildings were repeatedly lost in fires and wars and have been rebuilt over the years.
The Tenryuji garden has remained original over the centuries and is very beautiful.
Nearby Tenryuji temple is the bamboo forest. It was beautiful to see but really crowded with people which kind of took away from the zen experience, it was a quick walk through for us.
After walking around visiting a few things, we decided to take a small boat trip on the river. The hillsides had so many colours, from the cherry blossoms to the new spring foliage, and the brilliant colour of the river. It was very scenic and pretty, not to mention a welcome break from walking.
The park along the river was a great cherry blossom viewing area and also a great spot to take a break for lunch. I won’t tell you how awesome the ‘cherry blossom’ ice cream was!
Where we stayed: Hotel Resol 👍