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Visit Saihō-ji (Moss Temple), a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

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Saihō-ji is a Rinzai Zen Buddhist temple located in Matsuo, Nishikyō Ward, Kyoto, Japan. The temple, which is famed for its moss garden, is commonly referred to as "Koke-dera", meaning "moss temple", while the formal name is "Kōinzan Saihō-ji". The temple, primarily constructed to honor Amitabha, was first founded by Gyōki and was later restored by Musō Soseki. In 1994, Saihō-ji was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto". Until 1977, Saihō-ji was open to admission to the general public on a walk-up basis, as with other temples. At present, while it is open to the public, a number requirements limit the number of visitors. It is said that these regulations were put into place to protect the delicate moss from the hordes of tourists that plagued the temple before 1977. They prefer for the application to arrive up to 7 working days before the intended visit; there is only one visit per day, with time varying, so time of visit cannot be specified. The fee to visit (¥3,000) is the highest in Kyoto. Visitor are given access to the grounds for 90 minutes. Before being permitted access to the garden, visitors must engage in an activity, which varies from day to day. These include zazen (sitting meditation), hand copying sutras (shakyō), and chanting sutras. One is then asked to write down one's wish, name, and address. The monks keep all the sutras in the pagoda and continue to pray for all. The most famous times to visit are either during the East Asian rainy season (in Kyoto, early June to mid-July), when the rains make the moss particularly lush, or in late autumn, when the turning leaves contrast with the moss. ※Reservation is required 2 weeks in advance. ※This tour includes reservation from the temple and interpretation of the tour.

Saihō-ji is a Rinzai Zen Buddhist temple located in Matsuo, Nishikyō Ward, Kyoto, Japan. The temple, which is famed for its moss garden, is commonly referred to as "Koke-dera", meaning "moss temple", while the formal name is "Kōinzan Saihō-ji". The temple, primarily constructed to honor Amitabha, was first founded by Gyōki and was later restored by Musō Soseki. In 1994, Saihō-ji was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto". Until 1977, Saihō-ji was open to admission to the general public on a walk-up basis, as with other temples. At present, while it is open to the public, a number requirements limit the number of visitors. It is said that these regulations were put into place to protect the delicate moss from the hordes of tourists that plagued the temple before 1977. They prefer for the application to arrive up to 7 working days before the intended visit; there is only one visit per day, with time varying, so time of visit cannot be specified. The fee to visit (¥3,000) is the highest in Kyoto. Visitor are given access to the grounds for 90 minutes. Before being permitted access to the garden, visitors must engage in an activity, which varies from day to day. These include zazen (sitting meditation), hand copying sutras (shakyō), and chanting sutras. One is then asked to write down one's wish, name, and address. The monks keep all the sutras in the pagoda and continue to pray for all. The most famous times to visit are either during the East Asian rainy season (in Kyoto, early June to mid-July), when the rains make the moss particularly lush, or in late autumn, when the turning leaves contrast with the moss. ※Reservation is required 2 weeks in advance. ※This tour includes reservation from the temple and interpretation of the tour.

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