A former Imperial villa that was converted to a temple complex and monastery, Tenryo-Ji is notable for its Sogenchi Garden which was designed by a Zen monk and landscape designer called Muso Soseki. It is known for using the "borrowed scenery" of distant mountains into the garden design. Today, a visit can also incorporate a multicourse lunch overlooking the garden, which is quite a unique experience but requires advance reservations.
Kyoto is the center of Zen culture. In this frantic world, try meditation in Kyoto as a way to induce a sense of calm and peace. The ultimate goal of Zen is to obtain enlightenment but beginners will appreciate the sanctity of a natural environment where silence and solitude are valued. Check ahead for meditation classes.