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

5.03 weeks ago

The experience was amazing, we where given a sutra to copy, it was a very relaxing moment. If you are coming here be prepared to sit around for 1 hour and do some sort of meditation, don't be rude and leave before finishing just because you didn't know what you where getting yourself into. It is distracting for the others. Don
The price is a bit high, 3000 yen, but overall I think it was worth it. You have to make a reservation via letter, so prepare before time, see their website for details.
After the meditation you are left to visit the beautiful surrounding moss garden.

5.02 months ago

Really a fantastic experience to listen Buddha chanting in Japanese & giving us a blessing board to write down our wishes! Highlight will be to visit the moss garden. They gave plenty of time to walk around the garden to enjoy the environment & taking photo! Love such pre-booking arrangement, which won’t be so crowded so that to ruin such peaceful environment 😍

5.05 months ago

This is one of the more unique and beautiful places I've seen in the world in 40 years. Perhaps if you've grown up living in moss covered landscapes, it is somewhat mundane, but otherwise it's rather magical. It is not an amusement park; if being quiet in serene landscapes isn't your thing, then this place isn't for you. If I lived in Kyoto I would visit it seasonally.

2.0in the last week

The moss gardens are certainly beautiful but the monks/staff at this temple are incredibly rude and arrogant. This isn't some random "ugly tourist" speaking - I might very well have visited more Buddhist temples than the very people working here. I was here with a group of elderly people once and asked politely if they had any more chairs for the sutra copying in the beginning (sitting on the floor isn't something that's easily accomplished for a lot of 70 year old Westerners). I wasn't demanding, I was merely inquiring. The guy looked at me as if I had commanded him to bring me their best champagne, pronto... he just spat out "you should have come earlier!", his face contorted with contempt. I was really taken aback as I'd never experienced anything like this in Japan previously. We could have come earlier, yes, but what about the other elderly people who were already using the available chairs, then? A normal, sane person would just have apologized; "sorry, we don't have quite enough chairs", and that would have been it.

It's not worth the hassle with the postcards just to be treated like an unwelcome intruder in the end, and despite the limitations, the place still manages to get really crowded. Go to one of the many other similar temples in Kyoto instead and skip the crowds, the 'tude and the ridiculous entrance fees. Gio-ji in Arashiyama is a favorite of mine. Sanzen-in in Ohara is great for a day-trip too.

2.02 weeks ago

Quite beautiful but over-priced and over-complicated. I observed that the staff being *very* arrogant to some elderly foreigners.

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