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James Clarke | profile | all galleries >> Kansai Sights >> Hiei-zan (Mt. Hiei) tree view | thumbnails | slideshow | map

Hiei-zan (Mt. Hiei)

Mount Hiei (pronounced He-eh-ee rather quickly) is on the boarder between Kyoto-fu (Kyoto Prefecture) and Shiga-ken (Shiga Prefecture). It is to the North East of Kyoto City and is considered a Spiritual Guard to Kyoto City. Mount Hiei is 843m high, the main attraction is the sprawling Enryaku-ji temple complex, which is the headquarters of the Tendai sect of Buddhism.

As long as you don't go there on a weekend, public holiday or during the peak autumn and spring seasons, Mount Hiei is a good place to go and escape the busyness of the city. While there are buses on the mountain, a number of the attractions require a walking to. Be prepared for sudden changes in the weather and cooler temperatures up the top. Good hiking boots and wet weather gear highly recommended.

You can access Mount Hiei via the Eizan Main Line (a good option if you're staying in Gion or down town Kyoto), Keihan Ishiyama-Sakamoto Line (a good option if you're coming from Otsu in Shiga) or the JR Kosei Line (for those with a Japan Rail Pass or staying around Kyoto Station, Osaka or Kobe). On the Eizan Main Line ride the train to Yase-Hieizanguchi then take the Eizan Cable Railway, followed by the Eizan Ropeway to get up to Mount Hiei. On the Keihan Ishiyama-Sakamoto Line ride the train to Sakamoto then take the Sakamoto Cable Railway to get up Mount Hiei. On the JR Kosei Line get off at Hiei-zan Sakamoto station and catch a bus to the Sakamoto Cable Railway or alternatively (if the weather is good) take a walk through the beautiful Sakamoto town to the Sakamoto Cable Railway station.

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Another View of Otsu
Another View of Otsu
The Altitude
The Altitude
The Car Arrives
The Car Arrives
Biwa View
Biwa View
Otsu
Otsu
Forest Buddha
Forest Buddha
Red Temple
Red Temple
Circles
Circles
Hidden Garden
Hidden Garden
Fountain
Fountain
Temple Wall
Temple Wall
Stone Steps
Stone Steps
The Old Temple
The Old Temple
Text Addict
Text Addict
Lanterns
Lanterns
Lanten
Lanten
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