Hieizan Enryakuji Temple

Updated

Most Important Tendai Monastery in Japan | Shiga

Most Important Tendai Monastery in Japan | Shiga

Hieizan Enryakuji Temple in the border between Kyoto and Shiga was founded in 788 by the Buddhist Monk Saicho. Saicho is said to be responsible for introducing Tendai Buddhism to Japan from China. It is one of Japan's most important Tendai monasteries where many influential monks studied and prayed. Some of the monks who studied at Enryakuji would later on find other sects, such as the Jodo, Zen, and Nichiren branches. At the peak of it's progress, Enryakuji was one of the most powerful temples in Japan with up to 3,000 sub-temples and a powerful army of warrior monks.

Hieizan Enryakuji Temple was attacked by Oda Nobunaga during the Edo Period during his seige to unite the country. Nobunaga destroyed most of the buildings and had to be rebuilt during the Edo Period. The temple grounds are split into three areas, the Todo (east), Saito (west), and Yokawa grounds. There's a walking path visitors can use that connects the grounds together for guests to navigate from hall to hall. It's said the famous warrior monk Benkei (who later served Minamoto no Yoshitsune) once carried one of the halls on his shoulders. The extensive history and roll Hieizan Enryakuji Temple played in Japan has earned it a spot as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Learn the secrets of Enryakuji Temple with an extended stay in Kyoto before or after your Japan tour with Japan Deluxe Tours. You can also customize a fully-guided private tour to include the temple for a tailor-made vacation through Japan!

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