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Saihoji Temple

56 Matsuo Jingatanicho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 615-8286, Japan
+81 75-391-3631
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Ranked #23 of 379 Attractions in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Religious Sites, Gardens
61 visitor photos
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69 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Top Contributor
248 reviews 248 reviews
112 attraction reviews
143 helpful votes 143 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2014 NEW

Over the past 40 years I have been to Saihoji many times, one of my first early morning places to visit in Kyoto. I would make sure to arrive early to catch the morning light on the moss and to appreciate the quiet stillness of the garden save for the odd gardener sweeping the moss clean of leaves and tree... More

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Tel Aviv
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
15 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2014

Though you will see so many different temples in Kyoto, this one is very unique and memorable. Totally worth the price, arrangements to visit it and getting there by bus. I booked myself by sending them a letter few months before my visit with few possible dates to visit and in advance pre-paid envelope back to my address. In few... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Beltsville, Maryland
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2014

Getting there, we took the 73 bus from Kyoto station (230 yen); it left the station around 11:45 and we arrived at the Kokedera bus stop at 12:55 with five minutes to spare before our 1:00 visit. So if you are taking the bus from Kyoto, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to make the trip.

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2014

I very much enjoyed my visit here, and comments below from previous visitors were very helpful. This is my opportunity to add more. First, if you are a decent walker, it’s easy to get here by public transportation. Take the Hankyu line to the Kamikatsura station. If you get the 12:30 train from Katsura to Kamikatsura, you arrive at 12:32,... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
24 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2014

On of my best experiences in Kyoto. Due to efforts in trying to preserve the moss, the entrance fee to the garden is the most expensive in Kyoto at 3000 Yen, and you need to do a reservation process before, which I did through http://www.saihoji-kokedera-reservation.com, with no issues. There were more people than I expected however it was still very... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Salt Lake City, Utah
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
33 attraction reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2014

Also called Kokodera, you HAVE to take part in a religious ceremony copying calligraphy in order to be allowed entrance, but it's to offer your own prayer toward the betterment of the world, family, people, etc, and then after the ceremony, you get to wander the most beautiful moss garden imaginable. Eerie, ethereal and lovely and plush. I couldn't resist.... More

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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
26 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014

In order to visit this temple you need to write at least 7 days before hand and apply for permission. Granting of permission is on the condition that you undertake an activity which is usually Buddhist sutra writing, this was a very peaceful calming experience and although many struggled with sitting on the floor to trace the writing and write... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Rolling Hills Estates, California
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
16 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2014

The temple and its moss garden is slightly off the beaten path and far less impacted by tourists than many Kyoto 'sights'. It is necessary to make reservations for the visit and to 'pay' for the privilege with some form of meditative task before viewing the garden. This is well organized, efficient and certainly worth the effort.

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Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
11 attraction reviews
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2014

This was a special place to visit. There are so many temples and shrines to see in kyoto. This one stands apart because the require you to participate in a short service chanting sutras and also doing some calligraphy,and writing your wishes on a stick with calligraphy pen. After you will visit the famous moss gardens which are beautiful. You... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
36 attraction reviews
129 helpful votes 129 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014

Yes, it's the most difficult and expensive place in Kyoto to visit, but considering that you already spent quite a bit of energy and funds on a trip to Japan in the first place, don't miss out! The application is via a postcard 7 days or more in advance (in high season, a month or 2 is better). Try to... More

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