The Garden of Origins and Journeys


Saihoji Temple
— The Garden of Origins and Journeys

As you quiet your mind and enter into a state of harmony in the garden, you can re-discover and return to your original self, reflect on the past and begin on a new path. Saihoji Temple is the garden of origins, and new journeys.

As it approaches the 1,300th anniversary of its founding, Saihoji Temple strives to be a place where you can return to your true self in quiet and commence the journey that will bring you to the next stage of your life — empowering you to be more creative, to be inspired and to return to your life feeling completely and re-tuned and ready for a fresh start in your life.

Visiting and Spiritual Practice

In our desire for visitors to be able to spend a quieter and more reflective time, we introduced a policy restricting temple visits to small numbers of people requiring reservations. This policy has been in place since 1977.

We offer the following two options in accordance with visitors’ needs.

Nichi-nichi Sanpai

Basic Visiting Program

While enjoying the magnificent atmosphere of Saihoji, you can quieten your mind by copying sutra, and by walking in the garden, re-discover yourself, return to your origins and prepare for the next journey of your life.

Ori-ori Sanpai

Special Programs

You can also visit Saihoji to participate in our special programs to gain a deeper understanding of both the temple and its Zen teachings. We offer a variety of options, such as seasonal visits, morning zazen sessions, family-friendly programs, and visits on specific dates with limited participation.

We created a web portal that offers a variety of interesting content and useful information, including original articles about Saihoji, content for Saihokai members, and information for reservations of temple visits.

- Operated by Saihokai Association

The History of Saihoji Temple


Hata clan

Prince Shotoku


Bodhisattva Gyoki Saihoji founded as a temple of the Hosso Sect of Buddhism


Kobo Daishi (Kukai)


Honen Shonin The temple is converted to the Jodo Sect


Muso Kokushi Basic model of gardens created
The temple is converted to the Rinzai Sect of Zen Buddhism

Ashikaga Yoshimitsu The Golden Pavilion were built in the image of Saihoji Temple


Ashikaga Yoshimasa The Silver Pavilion were built in the image of Saihoji Temple


Oda Nobunaga The temple's structures were burnt down in the Onin War


Sen no Shoan

Natural disasters like river floodings made Saihoji devastated
Moss began to flourish after natural disasters and war


Iwakura Tomomi


Kawabata Yasunari

Domoto Insho

Steve Jobs


Google Map


From Kyoto Station

・Kyoto Bus (Line 73) approx.
60 min and 3 min walk from
“Kokedera, Suzumushi-dera”

・Taxi approx. 20 min
(approx. 3,500-4,000 JPY)

From Osaka

・35 min via Hankyu Railway Kyoto line
and 12 min by taxi (approx. 1,500 JPY)
from “Katsura” station


We do not have a parking lot.
There is a coin parking close by,
however it can get very crowded depending
the time and so we recommend coming by
public transportation or taxi.