Saiho-ji “Koke-dera” Moss Temple image © Damien Douxchamps
Saiho-ji Temple, which is also known as Koke-dera (Moss Temple), is justifiably famous: it’s truly beautiful. But, you must apply in advance to visit and then copy Buddhist sutras before entering the garden. It’s worth it if you really love moss, but there are many other fine temple gardens in the city that are easier to visit.
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too.
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router.
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass - here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- Get travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads (and here's why)