Enryaku-ji Temple

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Located on Mount Hiei in Otsu, Enryaku-ji Temple overlooks all of Kyoto from its serene mountaintop home. This Tendai-sect monastery was founded in 788 during the early Heian period. The temple was founded by Saicho, who brought the Tendai sect of Buddhism over to Japan from China. 


The main hall at Enryakuji is undergoing a ten-year program of renovations that began in 2016. The main hall itself can still be entered, though it is largely covered with scaffolding through the renovation project. More >



4220 Sakamotohonmachi, Otsu, Shiga 520-0116 (Map) (Directions)


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Konpon Chu-do

This National Treasure is the most important temple on Mount Hiei. There is said to be a Buddhist icon housed here that was carved by the founder himself in 788.


The Lapis Lazuli Hall is the only original sub-temple to escape the military campaign and subsequent fires of Oda Nobunaga. It is a clear example of Muromachi-period architecture.

Yokawa Chu-do

Although a 4-kilometer walk from the main temple area, the sights of Yokawa’s main building are a beauty to behold. It also serves as a ceremony-closing dedication spot for pilgrims.


Mount Hiei can be accessed from the Kyoto-side by Eizan Cablecar or from the Shiga-side by Sakamoto Cablecar. The Sakamoto Cablecar operates year-round, while the Eizan Cablecar does not operate during winter. After leaving the cable car, there is a clearly marked path that leads to Enryaku-ji temple.

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Enryaku-ji Temple


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