Japan – Kokedera: Kyoto’s Moss Garden

A visit to Kokedera is not straightforward: advance registration is required, you need to visit at a set time, access is not very convenient, and there is a relatively expensive entrance fee … but this is a special Kyoto experience. Once you jump the preliminary hurdles there is still one more test to pass before you get the right to see the garden – you have to take a calligraphy session sitting on the floor Japanese style. But the reward is the right to peacefully experience a quintessential Japanese strolling garden. Here you must take your time and forget rushing to the next Kyoto attraction. At some point we were alone in the garden strolling through the tree-filtered light, which was magic.

Voyagista’s Tip

  • On the same day you can visit Arashiyama district that includes a japanese garden and a bamboo forest that are worth visiting
  •  Take a taxi from the nearest train station so that you don’t get lost
  • The calligraphy session wasn’t complicated and if you can’t finish it, do not worry, you will still have the right to visit the garden. Depending on the day you could be asked to do something else: zazen (sitting meditation), hand copying sutras (shakyō), or chanting sutras
  • This visit takes time so if you are making a quick tour of Kyoto put this garden on your list for next time
  • Admission costs 3000 yen. For booking you can get an agency to do for you it or you can do it yourself by sending a special return postard (if you are in Japan, if not use an International return Coupon with a self adressed return envelope) with your name, address, the number of guests, and date and time of your visit.  The address is Saihoji Temple , 56 Jingatani-cho, Matsuo ,Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto, 615-8286, Japan. For more information check here  

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