HIBIKORE Diary

Paradise covered with deep green moss

I visited “Saiho-ji temple” (often called “Koke-dera” or “Moss temple”) which is designated as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Cite. This temple is located on the western edge of Kyoto city, west of Arashiyama area. It has a long history over as many as 1300 years.

The first thing to do after entering into the precinct is copying the sutra in the main hall. A set of Sumi (ink stick) and brush and paper is prepared for each individuals. Visitors get ready for one’s own ink by rubbing ink stick in the ink stone, while calming and clearing one’s mind. Copying sutra seems impossible for foreigners especially for those are not familiar with Kanji characters, but I saw quite a few foreign travelers trying it.
Even for me, copying sutra was extraordinary experience, which made me realize the power that each Kanji characters holds.

Finally, after clearing my mind, I walked around the beautiful moss garden. As many as 120kinds of moss cover the whole garden to make “Moss Paradise in another world“. Located at the foot of the mountain, the temple’ ground is abundant with pure underground water, which nurtures various kinds of beautiful moss.

With soothing BGM of water flow and bird twittering, only thing you can see here is trees, sky, and moss. You might forget what age you are living right now in this garden.

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