Tours at 9am, 10am, 11am, 1:30pm and 3pm except Saturday afternoons, Sunday, national holidays and New Years(Dec 25-Jan 5)
Added to JGarden:
All visitor's must obtain permission in advance from the Kyoto office of the Imperial Household Agency (located on the grounds of the Gosho).
Built as a retreat for Emperor Gomizuno (1596-1680) and funded by the Tokugawas. The site is enormous and includes Lower, Middle and Upper Villas, each with distinctly different design themes.
Originally, the palace was was composed of an Upper Teahouse (Kami no Ochaya) and a Lower Teahouse (Shimo no Ochaya). The upper tea house is also called Rinuntei and has an amazing view of the large pond. What is now known as the Middle Teahouse (Naka no Ochaya) was originally the old Rinkyûji temple, joined to the palace grounds in the Meiji period (late 19th century).
Saihoji Temple, Kyoto
Actuality is emblem here: a walled-in garden
With its hieroglyph of the heart a lake with lotuses,
And its stones and trees a figure of ascent
From painted maze and sensuous paradise
To the Pure Land of the mind, the interior garden.
All paths wind inward to this inward mirror --
Reflecting-pool of primitive solitude --
Where the mind, quiescent, meditates its shadow,
In the garden's Heart this cipher of the heart.
Some bonze cropped bald by wisdom's scythe, to glean
In Chinese glaosses on the Sakya sage
Reality's scattered kernels, planted here
A green and less laborious commentary:
Perpetual witness of the perfect stillness.
Only the moss speaks still, a living scroll;
From the lakeshore to the hillside a silver-green
Page of continuous discourse where the foot moves
More soundlessly that thought along the paths laid
Over ten centuries ago
For the saints rehearsing sutras.
Their path unfolding in a single text,
They moved on an obscure way more quietly
Than the arhat's mantras or the lohan's prayer;
And bruised no stone, no grasses in their passing,
The ground of their desire inviolate.
Nameless, they merged into indifferent turf,
Engrossed in one impartite grace of green,
Their separate deaths lost in this single life --
Men without memory, without distinction.
Though earth assumes them like a scroll rolled up,
The path is fragrant still because they passed here.