Kokedera Temple

Sightseeing information about Kokedera Temple in Japan.

World Heritage: Kokedera Temple (Moss Temple)4.6

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This zen temple, listed as one of Kyoto's Unesco World Heritage Sites, is well known for fantastical cultivation of mosses everywhere in its vast garden. There are estimated 120 different varieties of mosses and you can enjoy a free stroll in this mesmerizing carpet of moss green. The best season is a rainy season in June but the contrast with red foliage in autumn and white snow in winter is also beautiful.

Reservation is required at least two weeks in advance of your trip and the concierge desk at most hotels can handle the procedure for you. The temple sits on a quiet hill on the western fringes of Kyoto and reached by one-hour bus ride. The calligraphy of Buddhist sutra is included in the temple tour.

Purposeelderly,world heritage,family,shrine/temple,art,autumn foliage,sightseeing
Airport/Sta.Osaka International Airport (about 31.4km) Google Transit

Reviews

3.0a month ago

Beautiful temple but 3000 yen entrance is too expensive. Plus it takes almost an hour to get here by bus from Kyoto downtown. Visitors can only make reservation through mail months beforehand and get in at the reserved time slot, and stay for 2 hr max. The whole experience felt a bit transactional. Monk chanting for 15 mins. Visitors write down their wish on the wood and then are guided to go to the garden.

It might be a special experience for whoever not familiar with Buddhism, but in my opinion not worth it.

5.0a month ago

I personally think the 3000 yen admission and the postcard reservation is worth it. I’ve been to Kyoto three times now to various temples and this is one of the best temples in the area. I think that the chanting and writing sutra prepares you mentally for pure enjoyment of the grounds.

Nearby is also the bamboo grove trail in Arashiyama and the Suzumushi Temple, both which are lovely. The grounds are so serene and incredible. I understand why they take limited visitors—too many would destroy the serenity of the place.

5.06 months ago

You have to make a reservation with the temple at least a month before your visit. They don’t take online reservations; you’ll have to send them a self-addressed envelope for confirmation and admission passes (old school). There are a bunch of travel agencies that charge an additional fee for getting around this process, but we didn’t use them because it wasn’t exactly hassle-free or guaranteed either. We got in thanks to the helpful team at the ANA Crown Plaza Kyoto.

5.06 months ago

The most serene temple I've visited amongst dozens. Getting in is a feat in and of itself: it requires snail mailing them a postcard (get your hotel to do this in advance) and the entrance fee is steeper at $30 USD/person. The serenity, beauty and foliage is quite worth it though.

5.0a month ago

The hassle to obtain a ticket is definitely worth it. The moss garden is beautifully tranquil.

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