Visiting Saiho-Ji, Kyoto's Moss Temple

Visiting Saiho-Ji, Kyoto's Moss Temple, Kyoto, Japan (B)

While it often pays to wing it and just go with the flow when exploring a new place (according to my husband, at least), today I'd like to present a case for vacation pre-planning. Don't worry, I'm not trying to lure you over to the dark side - that place where day morphs into night while you've been hunched over your laptop, crafting a Google map of your destination with 300 saved pins on it - I do not wish my FOMO-induced anal-retentiveness on anyone.

I recently had the pleasure of returning to Kyoto - with my mom and baby brother in tow - and I had my heart set on the one reservation that had eluded me on my previous visit: Saiho-ji.

Commonly referred to as Koke-dera (meaning "moss temple"), Saiho-ji is a Zen Buddhist temple and Unesco World Heritage Site located on the southwest side of Kyoto, nestled against the rolling foothills of Arashiyama.

The draw for most visitors to Saiho-ji is the temple's garden, which boasts over 120 different varieties of moss - the serendipitous result of neglect. Following a flood back in the Edo period, the temple's garden fell into disrepair and was subsequently blanketed by a pillowy carpet of lush green. Today, the moss is carefully and lovingly manicured to create a space so enchantingly beautiful it will leave you speechless. ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Sights Featured in This Article

Guide Name: Visiting Saiho-Ji, Kyoto's Moss Temple
Guide Location: Japan » Kyoto
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Author: Kate Bitner
Read it on Author's Website:
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Saiho-ji

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