The Legends of Kokedera
Saihoji, more commonly known as Kokedera, is one of Kyoto's Unesco World Heritage Sites. Entrance to this temple requires a reservation made well in advance by mail. Kokedera means Moss Temple, referring to the temple garden's estimated 120 different varieties of moss. Visitors to the temple can walk through this spectacular garden, which has strongly influenced subsequent Japanese garden design. Kokedera was originally the site of Prince Shotoku's villa before becoming a temple in the Nara Period. In 1339, the temple was renovated and converted into a Zen temple under the priest Muso Soseki. Muso is also credited with creating Kokedera's gardens.
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