How to reserve Kokedera(Moss Temple. Saihouji) Kyoto

kokedera saihouji Saihoji (西芳寺, Saihōji), more commonly known as Kokedera (苔寺), is one of Kyoto’s Unesco World Heritage Sites. Entrance to this temple requires a reservation made well in advance by snail mail.

Kokedera means Moss Temple, referring to the temple garden’s estimated 120 different varieties of moss. Visitors to the temple can walk through this spectacular garden, which has strongly influenced subsequent Japanese garden design.

Kokedera was originally the site of Prince Shotoku’s villa before becoming a temple in the Nara Period. In 1339, the temple was renovated and converted into a Zen temple under the priest Muso Soseki. Muso is also credited with creating Kokedera’s gardens.

Kokedera offers the unique opportunity for visitors to participate in some of the temple’s religious activities. Every visitor to Kokedera is asked to contribute to the observances of kito and shakyo (respectively, the chanting and copying of Buddhist scriptures, called sutra).

To make a reservation, send a request by postal mail to the temple with your name, the number of people in your group, the name and address of your “group representative” and the proposed date of your visit, as well as a self-addressed, stamped return postcard. The request must reach the temple seven days before the date of your intended visit, but far more time is recommended. (Self return postcard are available at the post or convenience store like, Circle K, 7-11,Lawson, Family mart etc) but you can also use this reservation form as I prepared for you.

Please remember

1 .Application to arrive up to 7 working days prior to the intended visit at the temple; there is only one visit per day,(Sunday includes) with visit time varying, so time of visit cannot be specified.

2. The fee to visit the temple (¥3,000) is paid when you enter the temple

3.Visitor are given access to the grounds for 90 minutes. Fourthly, 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 also 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.

Please use this reservation form   PDF to help your visit.

Jardin de Kyoto en française

Beautiful Rocks and Moss by Japanese garden amateur site

[gview file=””]


4 thoughts on “How to reserve Kokedera(Moss Temple. Saihouji) Kyoto

  1. Hello,

    I would be interested in visiting your temple sunday 03 of July 2016. If it is possible, let me know what is your latest visit scheduled this day (i would be coming from Tokyo) ?

    Best regards


メールアドレスが公開されることはありません。 * が付いている欄は必須項目です