The Tenryu-ji Temple located adjoining to the bamboo forest, is accessible from the forest via the temple’s North Gate entrance. Many visitors are unaware of this gate and mistaken it for an entry to a private property as notices are in Japanese. The North Gate entrance actually leads to the ticket office. Most visitors will make their way to the temple from the main entrance close to the Tenryuji-mae bus stop opposite Arashiyama tram station of the Keifuku Line.
If your visit to the bamboo forest starts from Arashiyama-Torokko station, the North Gate entrance is half-way past the dense and best photographic parts of bamboo forest pathway. Making a detour into the temple at this point, you will not miss much of the remaining sight of the bamboo forest. Better yet, your walk from the ticket office through the gardens will all be downhill to the main entrance.
At the temple’s ticket office, you can choose a temple only, a garden only, or a combo ticket. Then make your way downhill through the gardens and then the temple buildings. Spend some time exploring it’s exquisite gardens and enjoying the calmness of the surroundings. The temple is considered one of the top 5 Zen temples in Kyoto. Although the grounds was busy with visitors, it was not as packed as the pathway of the bamboo forest.
Finished exploring the temple grounds and gardens, we exited through the main entrance and took a short-cut for the Katsura river bank and the Togetsu-kyo Bridge.
Other than it’s historical value, this iconic bridge looks ordinary and nothing special. Cross this bridge and you’ll get to the Monkey Park on the other side of the river. Bus services are available within the vicinity of the bridge with convenient stops nearby that will take you back to Kyoto or other location. The Togetsu-kyo bridge is within 5 minutes walk to the Arashiyama tram station served by the Keifuku Line.