Enryakuji Temple on Mount Hiei


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A complex of Tendai Buddhist temples on Mount Hiei.

The Enryaku Temple complex occupies the entire 848-meter-high summit of Mount Hiei, also known simply as Hiei and is headquarters of the Tendai school of Buddhism, which was founded by the monk Saicho during the Heian period. It was named an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The 13th century poet and Buddhist monk Jien once wrote: “The world is full of mountains of all kinds, but there is only one sacred Mount Hiei.”
There are more than 150 buildings in the 1,700-hectare grounds of Enryaku Temple. Traditionally divided into three sectors, known as Todo (Eastern Pagoda), Saito (Western Pagoda), and Yokawa (Riverbank), each sector features its own main hall.
The original site of the founding of Enryaku Temple is located within Todo, the center of which is occupied by the Konponchudo, the most important temple on Mount Hiei and a National Treasure. The principle deity enshrined here is Yakushinyorai (the Medicine Buddha). The present Konponchudo facility was built in 1642 at the order of the third Tokugawa Shogun, Iemitsu. The Yakushinyorai is illuminated by the Fumetsu-no-hoto, an eternal flame that has burned continuously for 1,200 years.

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Experience the life of a monk, making hand-written copies of the sutras and meditating while clearing your mind of daily concerns.

At Mount Hiei, you can escape your daily routine and experience for yourself the ascetic practices of life as a monk. Wouldn’t you like to spend quiet hours looking deep inside yourself as you practice seated meditation or making handwritten copies of Buddhist sutras at the Enryakuji dormitory, located near the Konponchudo in Todo?
We will provide you with brushes, ink, paper, and everything else you need to begin learning how to copy the sutras. Copying the sutras one word and one sentence at a time is also an opportunity to reflect on the teachings of the Lord Buddha. Together with seated meditation, it is a popular means of refreshing the mind and body.
The Kojirin in Saito is also available to the general public as a place to practice devotion. We offer a number of different courses that include both seated meditation and copying the sutras during one-day workshops and one- or two-night stays at the monastery.
There are also courses available at Kojirin that include expressing gratitude to the myriad creatures of the world through proper etiquette during meals or listening to sermons on the teachings of the Lord Buddha. These two courses are available to men and women of all ages to allow them to spend quiet hours in contemplation.

Enryakuji Temple on Mount Hiei


4220 Sakamotohommachi, Otsu, Shiga Prefecture


Toto area 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Saito area 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (opening hours seasonally vary)


Open daily


Pass ticket for Toto, Saito, and Yokawa areas: Adult, 700 yen; junior high or high school student, 500 yen; elementary school student, 300 yen




By Yase Cable Car from Eizan Electric Railway Yase Sta. to Hiei-sancho, then transfer to shuttle bus to Enryakuji Bus Center.

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