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

Visiting Saiho-Ji, Kyoto's Moss Temple
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.

Moving on!

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.

In order to limit the number of visitors, Saiho-ji requires that those who wish to wander its stone-paved paths apply for entrance permission by postal mail. This rather tricky process ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
This article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store and Google Play. You can download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the attractions featured in this article. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and it works offline so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Sights Map

Guide Name: Visiting Saiho-Ji, Kyoto's Moss Temple
Guide Location: Japan » Kyoto
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Saiho-ji  
Author: Kate Bitner
Read it on author's website: http://www.nomadinnihon.com/blog/visiting-saiho-ji-kyotos-moss-temple

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


18 Japanese Products To Bring Home from Kyoto

18 Japanese Products To Bring Home from Kyoto

The old capital of Japan, the city of Kyoto has once again been the talk of the world lately, thanks to the bestselling "Memoirs of a Geisha" book and the namesake Hollywood blockbuster movie. Renowned for its impeccable craftsmanship, Japan has so much to amaze a foreign eye with. Many of...