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Saihoji Temple

#95 of 1,109 things to do in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 56 Matsuo Jingatanicho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 615-8286, Kyoto Prefecture
Name/address in local language
Phone Number:
+81 75-391-3631

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 182 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 49
  • 12
    Very good
  • 4
  • 1
  • 1
Moss temple is beautiful

I have to admit the admission application process is tedious. I asked my local friend for help with sending in postcards and ask for availability. That is the reason I cannot give... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
San Mateo, California
via mobile
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182 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 67: English reviews
San Mateo, California
Level Contributor
445 reviews
198 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 316 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I have to admit the admission application process is tedious. I asked my local friend for help with sending in postcards and ask for availability. That is the reason I cannot give this attraction a five. Doors were open about 20 minutes before appointment time. After checking in at the entrance, I proceeded to pay the admission fee. I was... More 

Thank singinggigi
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
57 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2017 via mobile

Months before we set foot on Kyoto, we heeded all good advice and sought paid help to obtain invitations for this mysterious and beautiful temple with moss covered grounds. (Just search: help for saihoji reservation ) And when we arrived in Kyoto, as promised, with our concierge, there was an envolope with our desired pass to Saihoji for 19 Mar... More 

1 Thank SGCouple
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
66 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2017

In order to protect the garden, years ago they began limiting the number of visitors. You must write to the garden to request permission and a reservation to enter the garden. There is a concierge service in Japan that we contacted, and for a nominal fee, they took care of requesting permission for us to attend. We provided our Kyoto... More 

Thank Cliff S
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2017

While not easy to get access to, this temple is the one I would keep if I had to chose one from my trip in Kyoto. I used an online service to ask for an invitation (and used the ryokan I was staying at as the recipient address since it has to be in Japan). The temple is quite far... More 

Thank Nisildur
Wuppertal, Germany
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2016

It takes preparation to get into this temple (also known as Kokedera), you need to apply well in advance to get an entry permit that is for a specified time and date (see Lonely Planet Kyoto or internet sites like Inside Kyoto for details). This is a tedious procedure but it ensures that the temple garden is not crowded. Once... More 

Thank Klaus B
Level Contributor
76 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2016

It took planing and paperwork 6months in advance to apply and get our entrance tickets. It is worth every effort to get there. Copying out the heart sutra while the monks chant is very moving. The moss gardens are so green and timeless. A form of walking meditation to explore them. Because of the limited numbers there are no crowds... More 

Thank CynthiaCanberra
New York
Level Contributor
82 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 November 2016

This a special meditative place to visit with an opportunity to copy a Sutra, which is a meditative practice in and of itself even if you dont understand it (one which so appealed that we repeated in Koyasan). We were fortunate, and I'd like to pass on the good fortune to you. We had not heard of this as a... More 

Thank ThrutheSky
Oakland, CA
Level Contributor
61 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2016 via mobile

Really impressive. You need an invitation, but somebody got us one. Then when you arrive, you take a calligraphy test. Not kidding. You sit down with brush and ink and copy a massive page of characters. Took our Japanese friends 30 min. Would have taken me a lifetime. Fortunately, I'm sloppy. Worlds dumbest exercise. After 45 minutes of truly pointless... More 

1 Thank MTMusings
Level Contributor
203 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2016 via mobile

You need an invitation to get in there. The number of people is limited. First there is a prayer where you get to make a wish on paper and offer it to the bouddha in residence. Interesting.Then you can walk in the garden with 120 species of mosses. Almost like another world. Bring an umbrella because it is raining most... More 

Thank Michel L
Faversham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
157 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 September 2016 via mobile

You can't just show up at this temple and expect entry. You have ro write to them in advance and request an invitation. Writing from the UK, it took us 6 weeks to get a reply (I had almost given up), but the wait was worth it. Yes, it's not a large site and yes, it's fairly pricey (¥3000 each)... More 


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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?