Shrines & Temples

    Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple

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    Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple

    Mother mountain of Japanese Buddhism with numerous temples on Mount Hiei

    In 788, the founder of the Tendai sect of Buddhism, Saicho, opened a Buddhist temple on the sacred Mount Hiei and made it his sect’s base.  This is one of Kyoto’s World Heritage Sites.  Since its foundation, it has flourished as the guardian temple of the nation and a number of important Buddhist priests studied here, including Honen, Shinran, Ippen, Eisai, Nichiren, etc.  The entire mountain is regarded as the temple precinct and is divided into three areas: To-to area, Sai-to area and Yokawa area.  The To-to main area is where the main statue, Yakushi Nyorai, is enshrined.  There area the lights of the “Sacred Immortal Fire” which has been lit for over 1200 years in the Konpon Chu-do Hall.  Many of the temple buildings are designated as the National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties, such as Daiko-do Hall for academic training, Amida-do Hall for commemorating the spirit of ancestors, Hokke Soji-in Temple To-to Pagoda as the head temple that manages six affiliated pagodas in Japan.  Today, a number of visitors worship at this huge temple complex.  Shaka-do Hall is the oldest temple building on the mountain.  Ninai-do Hall has two temple halls connected by a corridor in the Sai-to area.  The Yokawa area is home to Yokawa Chu-do Hall which was opened by Jikaku Daishi deep in the mountain.  Each area has its own appeal and characters so it is recommended to explore the entire temple properties on the mountain.

    Translation to English by AD BRAIN INC.
    Fujin-gaho,December issue,2013


    Name Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple
    Address 4220 Sakamoto Hon-machi, Otsu, Shiga
    Tel 077-578-0001
    Hours To-to area: 8:30-16:30 (Mar.-Nov.); from 9:00 (Jan.-Feb.); 9:00-16:00 (Dec.); Sai-to & Yokawa area: 9:00-16:00 (Mar.-Nov.); from 9:30 (Jan.-Feb.); 9:30-15:30 (Dec.); Doors closed 30 minutes before the closing time.
    Recommended Entry: Combination ticket for To-to, Sai-to and Yokawa: 550 yen, Kokuho-den Museum: 450 yen