Saga, Arashiyama-A pilgrimage in nature

Saga, Arashiyama-A pilgrimage in nature

Sagano, Arashiyama is one of the main tourist attractions in the city. Its beautiful scenery, woven by mountains and rivers, has been described by many poets and writers throughout Japan’s history. This tour will take you to spots that are not so well known, and which still give us a sense of the mystic atmosphere of ancient times.

The Tenryuji Temple is a Zen temple that is designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Its garden makes use of the surrounding landscape of Arashiyama as borrowed scenery. It is composed of a pond, mountains, trees and rocks, making a rare and sacred harmony. Depending on where you stand to view the garden, it presents a different character.


Arashiyama was the place where aristocrats of the Heian period enjoyed observing seasonal change. The landscape of forested mountains and a wide river offered cherry blossoms in spring, new leaves in the early summer, fall colours in autumn, and snow-covered bamboo in winter. All of these scenes were admired and written about by Japanese poets. Walking into the bamboo forest will take you to the heart of Heian era elegance.


This garden was the lifelong passion of a famous actor from the early Showa period. He put most of the money he made from acting into creating this garden, and the result of his devotion is a widely lauded masterpiece. It truly is a perfect garden, incorporating the surrounding landscape of the Arashiyama Mountains.

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