Saiho-ji Temple (Koke-dera)

Travel Guide - Saiho-ji Temple (Koke-dera)


Saiho-ji Temple is a Rinzai school of Zen temple established by a priest Gyoki in the Nara Period (710 - 794).
The main attraction of the temple is its garden with luxuriant moss designed by Muso Soseki in 1339.
The temple is also known as "Koke-dera (Moss Temple)" because of the moss garden.
It is said that Steve Jobs (the co-founder of Apple Inc.) loved this temple and privately visited several times.

Reservations are the only way to visit the temple.
You need to send a postcard at least one week before the date you wish to visit and include details of your name, number of visitors, address in Japan, and desired date (choice of alternative dates preferred).
The visit date is decided on a first-come-first-served basis.
Please don't forget to enclose a pre-stamped return postcard for a reply to your address in Japan (Sending a return postcard would be the best way to make the reservation).

You should arrive at the time and on the date supplied by the temple office.
After paying your donation, you spend up to 90 minutes copying or chanting sutras or doing Zen meditation before finally being guided around the garden for 90 minutes.

Saiho-ji Temple was registered as a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto in 1994.

Opening Hours

  • Reservations required


  • Reservations required

Access / Public Transport

  • 15 minutes walk from Kami-Katsura Station on the Hankyu Arashiyama Line (HK96)
  • 50 minutes from JR Kyoto Station by the #73 bus. Get off at Kokedera-Suzumushidera Bus stop.

Address / Location

* Please click each address to show the location.


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