Saihoji (西芳寺), a world heritage site, was established in the Nara (奈良) period and is better known by its common name, Kokedera (苔寺, the moss temple). The temple is truly a nice place to visit during your stay in Kyoto.
*Visitors must make a prior registration.
Visitors first experience Shakyo (写経, Sutra copying) to soothe the everyday busy mind, and then enjoy the subtle and profound view of the classic garden covered with 120 breeds of moss. If you look very closely, you will notice the difference between the breeds. The famous Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺, Golden temple) and Ginkaku-ji (銀閣寺, Silver temple) are said to be constructed based on the concept of this garden.
When I visited there, it was raining. Absorbing a lot of moist, the moss looked animatedly growing. This season of fresh greenery is the perfect time to visit Kokedera temple.