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Review Highlights
the good, the bad, the ugly

Generally speaking, a visit to Saiho-ji IS a worthwhile experience; but tempering your expectations... read more

Reviewed July 2, 2018
Toronto, Canada
Beautiful moss garden

Saihoji Temple or the Moss Garden is challenging to book. You must mail a request within a... read more

Reviewed June 13, 2018
Toronto, Canada
via mobile
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  • Excellent61%
  • Very good20%
  • Average13%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible3%
Travelers talk about
“moss garden”(31 reviews)
“an invitation”(6 reviews)
“heart sutra”(3 reviews)
Suggested duration: 1-2 hours
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56 Matsuo Jingatanicho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 615-8286, Kyoto Prefecture
+81 75-391-3631
Top Selling Tours & Activities in and around Kyoto
Reviews (223)
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All reviewsmoss gardenan invitationheart sutraconcierge serviceentry processeffort involvedhotel mumeprayer servicepost cardminute bus rideentry feeyen per personsoba noodleswell worth the effortmain hallcopyingchanting
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1 - 10 of 80 reviews
Reviewed July 2, 2018

Generally speaking, a visit to Saiho-ji IS a worthwhile experience; but tempering your expectations with reality will help offset any irritation that might lead you to disappointment. Saiho-ji does require that you submit a written request to visit in advance, and this is easy enough...More

3  Thank theBigBucketList
Reviewed June 13, 2018 via mobile

Saihoji Temple or the Moss Garden is challenging to book. You must mail a request within a specified timeframe accompanied by a self addressed envelop with a stamp. I was lucky because my hotel agreed to send request on my behalf and I paid for...More

3  Thank Traveller376
Reviewed June 13, 2018

After great advice from @ANDYELBAC - and a year's delay due to ill-health, we finally visited Saiho-ji. What a wonderful experience! The sutra writing before visiting the garden provides an ideal meditative context with which to approach the beauty of the moss garden. The rain...More

1  Thank ihenders_uk
Reviewed June 10, 2018 via mobile

This was an incredible stop for our family. By reservation and with $30 fee, we took our kids ages 10 and 12. There is a 15 minute service at the outset with monks and guests chanting the sutra, and after you are able to write...More

Thank Ssare
Reviewed May 5, 2018

This was an experience that made our Kyoto trip for us. The sutra and prayers at start were really interesting and staff were very helpful with us. Then when let loose into gardens it was like walking into process monomolecular. I was half expecting to...More

Thank Emily W
Reviewed May 4, 2018

The grounds around the temple were beautiful and very peaceful to walk through even on a rainy day. The moss absorbed any tourist noise as well as the rain drops. Some of the walkways were a bit slippery on the uneven steps so just be...More

1  Thank Alice L
Reviewed April 27, 2018 via mobile

This temple was well worth the $30 (aud) entry fee and entry process! You need to apply to see this temple more than 3 weeks prior to the time you want to go (but less than 2 months before). There are guides online on how...More

1  Thank Claudia853
Reviewed March 19, 2018

This was a nice experience, but having been told this was THE place to see for moss, I was disappointed. You have to apply by writing ahead of time to be able to go here and it's about $30 each for admission. There is a...More

3  Thank uostatechef
Reviewed October 1, 2017 via mobile

The temple is beautiful. Its best quality is that ot is not crouded, since you have to sign up in advance. The sutra copying was annoying for some of us, but they offer you to skip it. Still, the entrence fee is too high.

2  Thank Yonatan B
Reviewed August 24, 2017 via mobile

Other reviewers have noted this, and I will say it too, getting tickets to this temple is a hassle; however, it is definitely worth it even for the high cost of labor and money. This temple is an active Buddhist temple and when you arrive...More

2  Thank Clara E
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Questions & Answers
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Camila O
August 17, 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Seok Ting C | Reviewed this property |
Hi! The best way to secure an invitation is through your hotel concierge. Give them the day you would like to visit & they will do the request on your behalf. The temple will send the invitation postcard to the hotel. Upon... More
September 21, 2016|
Response from MBenzinger | Reviewed this property |
I did not see any children there. I only saw adults... but you can try.
April 13, 2016|
Response from Susanne E |
You need to book in advance via an written application. I have only tried to do if from within Japan, but if you google "Saihoji Moss garden Reservation help" which offers help to do it from abroad. Hope this helps. It may... More