On the western outskirts of Kyoto is a scenic district called Arashiyama (meaning storm mountain). It is very popular for locals and tourists and is a nice change from too much shopping or shrine / temple hopping.
Togetsukyo is a long wooden bridge across a wide river. Depending on which side you are on, the name of the river is different. On the west of the bridge it is the Hozu River, on the east the Katsura River.
Tenryu-ji is the head temple of the Tenryu branch of Rinzai Zen Buddhism, founded in 1339. It contains several halls and large temple grounds to stroll through.
There’s just something very cool about awesomely tall, perfect looking bamboo shooting upwards to the sky.
Daikaku-ji is a Shingon Buddhist temple beside an scenic artificial lake, Osawa pond. It is one of the oldest Japanese garden ponds with a scenic little red bridge. It was created by Emperor Saga during his reign (809-823), and similar to the Imperial Chinese style of garden which was meant to be seen from a boat.
The temple was established in 876 and was used as a retirement home for several Emperors. It was destroyed however, which is all too familiar everywhere in Japan.
Around the grounds is another smaller bamboo grove and a field of cherry blossom trees, starting to bloom here now. A good sign of more to come.
Visited 18th March 2014.