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“Long hike up, but rewarding”

Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple
Ranked #1 of 320 things to do in Otsu
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Basel, Switzerland
Level Contributor
117 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Long hike up, but rewarding”
Reviewed 27 April 2014

We walked up from Shugkuin (hike detailed elsewhere online) and it was worth the effort. It only took 2 hours to go all the way up and the temples are spectacular. Only problem was that there is quite a bit of walking between the temple sites and we were a bit footsore, so it might have been best to go up on the cable car from either side of the mountain. We also had a nice coffee overlooking lake biwa at the big hotel.

Visited April 2014
1 Thank CauponaConsul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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386 reviews from our community

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Chicago Illinois
Level Contributor
149 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Great variety, gorgeous, serene, hard to reach”
Reviewed 3 December 2013

Enryakuji is nestled in several locations in the eastern hills (Higashiyama) over Kyoto. Not easy to reach. We went from Daigoji southeast of Kyoto, north to Otsu, then west in winding roads up to the Enryakuji complex of temples. But it was worth the trip. Beautiful buildings, interesting history, much reconstruction (after all Oda destroyed all of it in the late 1500s), small museum well laid out. Great variety of sites and buildings.

Visited November 2013
Thank Kyotocat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orange, Australia
Level Contributor
266 reviews
199 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 198 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2013

We didn't have much time for this temple, so visited only the Main Hall (Konponchudo), a national treasure. I am Japanese and have visited many Buddhist temples in Japan, but I have never seen more impressive Buddhist building than that. Highly recommended.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank misocutlet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Top of the mountain”
Reviewed 24 May 2013

Excellent view from the top of the mountain. Be sure to go on a clear day. It is a nice walk through a wooded area. You pay for the tram ride.

Visited May 2013
2 Thank Gary S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sudbury, Canada
Level Contributor
164 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
“worth the journey to get to this mountain temple. Unesco registered. Loved it, even though usually not a temple-goer.”
Reviewed 28 October 2012

Well deserved Unesco registration. Very special, profound atmosphere. Not many tourists, more really devout boudhists visiting, even from other islands of Japan ( my Japanese guide overheard people from Kyushu and Hokkaido were touring while we were there). Boudhist monk gave gentle speech to one of the traveling groups. He was inspiring to watch and listen too, even if I don’t understand enough Japanese to follow the talk. Just the incarnation of goodness. These things are unexplainable unless people are there to see and feel them. And I am not a religious person.
An hour and a half spent in transportation, one way. Decided to do it because I was in Kyoto for 5 days, so, felt like doing something off the beaten path. Had a big surprise: this happens to be the best temple\shrine I have seen. After this, did not feel the need to see other religious interiors: I was satisfied. This is not showy, kitsh. This is deep, profound, spiritual inspiring place. Could not find pictures, because too sacred for pictures to be authorized. I understand, even though I am not religious myself. Even putting religion aside, the place forces respect.
Opinions certainly vary, but, personally, if I visited only two religious interiors in Kyoto, this would be one of the two.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank 88puffin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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