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Hieizan Enryakuji Temple

Hieizan Enryakuji Temple, with its sprawling grounds across Mt. Hieizan, is the head temple of the Tendai Sect, and was registered as a World Cultural Heritage site in 1994 and as a Japan Heritage site in 2015. Conveniently located for access by driveway, cable car and all bus routes, it is comparatively easy to make it all the way to the top of the mountain. At Enryakuji Kaikan you can also experience what it's like to train at the temple, including Zen meditation and making copies of the sutras. Please inquire to 077-578-0047 (9:00 - 17:00) for more details.

Konpon Chudo, a national treasure, is a hall that was originally created from a structure erected by Dengyo Daishi Saicho, founder of Enryakuji Temple, in 788. Meeting with destruction at the hands of various disasters over the years, with each rebuilding it also increased in scale. Its current form was completed in 1642 under orders from Iemitsu Tokugawa. The statue of the Yakushi (Bhaisajyaguru) Buddha here has an eternal light placed in front of it, which has not gone out in more than 1200 years. While the building is currently undergoing major repair work, the work itself is quite a sight to see as it is being performed on a National Treasure. Don't miss this chance to see interesting restoration work underway. (The work started in 2016 and will continue for approximately 10 years)

The West Tower was established by the second Tendai Zasu, the title given to the head of Hieizan Enryakuji Temple, a monk named Encho. The main hall is the Shakado, and then there are various other halls as used by the monks here, including the mausoleum of temple founder Dengyo Daishi Saicho. There is also a training hall open to the public, where you can experience training as a monk for yourself. The West Tower can be reached in 5 minutes by shuttle bus from the East Tower area. You can also walk there in 2 minutes (including unpaved roads, slopes and steps), or take a shuttle bus ride of 10 minutes from the Yokawa area.

The East Tower is in the center of the three towers and sixteen valleys of Hieizan, and is the place where Dengyo Daishi Saicho founded Enryakuji Temple. The East Tower is also the site of many important halls and facilities, including the large Konpon Chudo central hall, halls enshrining the founders of each sect, and a hall for memorial services. In winter everything here is covered with snow, making for a stunning show of white. The Enryakuji Bus Center is also located in the East Tower area, from where you can take shuttle buses to the summit of Hieizan, the West Tower and the Yokawa area, as well as ride bus routes into Kyoto city or use the Sakamoto Cable to descend to the temple town of Sakamoto.

Yokawa is located around 4km north of the West Tower. Established by Jikaku Daishi Ennin, this highly spiritual region has seen the training of many famous monks, including Genshin, Shinran, Nichiren and Dogen. The main hall is the Yokawa Chudo, and then there is the Keishindo to which Genshin retired and Shiki Kodo enshrining Ganzan Daishi Ryogen. Yokawa can be reached in 15 minutes by shuttle bus from the East Tower area. You can also walk more than 100 minutes (Tokaido Nature Walk) to reach the West Tower area, from where a shuttle bus takes 10 minutes.

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Address 4220 Sakamotohoncho, Otsu City, Shiga
Opening Hours 8:30 - 16:30
(Sometimes until 16:00. Seasonal changes.)
Open every day
Inquiries +81-77-578-0001
Access Public transportation
JR Kosei Line Hieizan Sakamoto Station 20 min. on foot
Change at Sakamoto Cable, 10 min. on foot after alighting at Cable Enryakuji Station

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