World Heritage / Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto

Criteria: (ii) (iv) | Date of Inscription: 1994 | Location: Kyoto and Shiga Prefectures | Justification for Inscription


Things to see


Moss garden
Moss garden
Approximately 120 types of moss cover the whole garden to fascinate visitors year round. The garden itself is designated a special scenic spot and is divided into 2 parts. The upper part is a Karesansui (dry rock garden), and the lower part is a Chisen Kaiyushiki Teien (pond stroll style garden) whose centerpiece is the koganeike (a golden pond). The garden was created by Muso Soseki.

Saiho-ji is often referred to as the Koke-dera or Moss Temple due to its famous and very beautiful moss garden. The temple was originally founded by the high priest Gyoki in the Nara Period (710-784 AD), and reconstructed as a temple in the Zen sect of Buddhism. Buildings include a tea room: Shonantei (an important cultural property) and the Sairaido and the Shariden in the moss garden. The temple today belongs to the Tenryu-ji School of the Rinzai Sect of Buddhism.

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