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Mount Hiei, Kyoto

4.4
#3 of 17 in Nature in Kyoto
Mountain Religious Site
Mount Hiei is a mountain to the northeast of Kyoto, lying on the border between the Kyoto and Shiga Prefectures, Japan.The temple of Enryaku-ji, the first outpost of the Japanese Tendai (Chin. Tiantai) sect of Buddhism, was founded atop Mount Hiei by Saichō in 788. Hōnen, Nichiren, and Shinran all studied at the temple before leaving to start their own practices.The temple complex was razed by Oda Nobunaga in 1571 to quell the rising power of the Tendai's warrior monks (sōhei), but it was rebuilt and remains the Tendai headquarters to this day.The Imperial Japanese Navy 19th Century corvette Hiei was named after this mountain, as was the more famous World War II-era battleship, the latter having initially been built as a battlecruiser.Mount Hiei in folkloreMount Hiei has featured in many folk tales over the ages. Originally it was thought to be the home of gods and demons of Shinto lore, although it is predominantly known for the Buddhist monks that come from the temple of Enryaku-ji.
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116 reviews
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  • My original purpose in hiking Mt Hiei was to warm up for climbing Mt Fuji later that week. As it happened I found Hiei beautiful and in many ways every bit as captivating as Fuji. Mt Hiei offers an al...  more »
  • Once again rises from the Sakamoto cable, descended into the city by bus. Why, Ryuichi Sakamoto would have also said training was in Lake Biwa, Nobunaga had burned Hieizan Sakamoto Castle and things from this Eastern Sakamoto side visit is I wanted to experience the 1 page's history of bygone days. East slope is a steep-sided closed only by cable car. It went up was Nobunaga's army? Just imagine, and he felt.
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  • This was really fun and we didn't see one other tourist. We would have never have found the trail head of it wasn't for a local walking us over and pointing it out. He also gVe us advice on which trai...  more »

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Where to stay in Kyoto

Kyoto spoils visitors for choice when it comes to good accommodations, offering everything from traditional ryokans to luxury Western-style hotels. In a city used to receiving foreign travelers, you'll find that most establishments know exactly what to offer tourists and how to help newcomers to the area. To avoid paying premium prices during the cherry blossom season, consider staying in Osaka, located just a 30-minute train ride away. If you must stay in Kyoto itself, keep in mind that centrally located hotels charge more than those in the outer neighborhoods.
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