Enryaku-ji is a temple built at the end of the 8th century by Saicho, the founder of the Tendai sect of Buddhism. This temple, established on the mountain Hiei-zan, exercises control over the Tendai sect throughout Japan. It was destroyed by fire in the 16th century, when it was attacked by Oda Nobunaga, who was the predominant force of Japan at that time. Subsequently rebuilt, the temple served as a place of study for many great priests in the history of Japanese Buddhism. The temple is divided into three areas: To-to ("East Pagoda") where Saicho is supposed to have stayed when he first arrived here; Sai-to ("West Pagoda"), which was established by a disciple of Saicho; and Yo-kawa (river "Yo-kawa"). The great hall located in the precinct is recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage. The Hoto Lamp in the To-to has burned continuously for 1,200 years. The Shaka-do (in the Sai-to) is a hall which enshrines a statue of the Shaka-Nyorai Buddha, a Buddhist idol which is kept hidden. The Shaka-do is designated by the national government as an Important Cultural Property.
Address: 4220 Sakamoto honmachi, Otsu-shi, Shiga
Admission Fee: 550 yen (regular fee)
Closed: Open throughout the year
[Bus]JR Kyoto Stn./Bus/1-hr. ride/Enryaku-ji Stop/5-min. walk