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“Memorable Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Saihoji Temple

Saihoji Temple
56 Matsuo Jingatanicho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 615-8286, Kyoto Prefecture
+81 75-391-3631
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Ranked #33 of 405 Attractions in Kyoto
4.5 of 5 stars 78 Reviews
Type: Religious Sites, Gardens, Cultural
Attraction details
Johannesburg
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Memorable Experience”
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 tranquil and special. You need to write the sutras. A tip is to bring your own medium ink marker with you, as the Japanese calligraphy pen and ink and quite difficult to use if you are not used to it.

Let the majority go through the garden first and hang back so you can have it peacefully to yourself. It seems they only make the reservations for 1pm, so you will need to manage your day accordingly

Visited April 2014
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78 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
32 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“The Moss garden of course”
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. Here and there I had to push down with a finger on to the plush surface. Amazing.

Visited April 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Calming”
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 your own prayer, it is well worth it.
Then into the temple gardens, over 120 types of moss...not being a gardener, didn't think I would get the wow, but it for sure was wow.
I felt very calm by the time I left nearly 3 hours later.

Visited April 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rolling Hills Estates, California
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“The ultimate Moss Garden”
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.

Visited October 2013
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honolulu
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Wonderful cultural experience and moss gardens”
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 need permission to visit and must go online and read how to do it. If you are staying at a more upscale hotel they may be able to assist you with this if you ask ahead of time. We took a taxi there, and were worried how we would get back as it is in the hills and not near main roads. There were taxis waiting a bit down the hill. If not, I'm sure one of the small shopkeepers would not mind calling one for you. Well worth the effort to get a reservation to see this place and participate in a Buddhist ritual. There is a cost also when you arrive..but it's worth the $30 fee

Visited March 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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