Although chiefly known for its temples and shrines, Kyoto is also home to many exquisite ornamental Japanese gardens, many attached to temples. The Sanzen-in temple has one of the most beautiful and renowned moss gardens in Japan; while the gardens of Saihoji Moss temple (koke-dera), viewable by appointment only, are also justifiably famous. As the garden and its temple are of religious significance, all visitors to the garden are asked to join in a 30-minute session involving the chanting and copying of Buddhist scriptures, called sutra, before exploring the garden. This gives a fascinating insight into Japanese religion and your guide will be on hand to assist you. Arashiyama Mountain Park in western Kyoto is an area of natural beauty with wooded hills and bamboo groves, and is especially popular in the spring cherry blossom or autumn maple leaf season. In Arashiyama you may visit the Okochi-Sanso villa, famous for its kaiyu-shiki-teien, a 'promenade garden' or 'stroll garden'. The gardens here were designed to reflect the four seasons, with cherry blossoms, azaleas, Japanese maple trees and many pines. In the north of the city, the Kyoto botanical garden contains more than 120,000 plants representing some 12,000 species. The gardens are separated into areas displaying different plants and gardening styles, such bamboo gardens, bonsai, cherry trees, a Japanese iris garden and a conservatory displaying a huge array of flora including aquatic and carnivorous plants.