Mount Hiei Tour: The Marathon Monks of Hieizan

Mount Hiei (比叡 山) or Hiei-zan is a mountain located northeast of the city of Kyoto. 840 meters above sea level and it houses at its summit the Enryaku-ji temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Built in 788 by Saicho, founder of the Tendai-shu movement, the temple was to protect the capital of Kyoto. With no less than 3,000 temples and nore than tens of thousands of monks, the complex was razed by the daymio (governor) Nobunaga Oda in 1571 to counter the rise and power of the warrior monks.

There are now only three centers left, Todo, Saito and Yokawa. Mount Hiei is also home to the marathoner monks, known as Kaihogyo, who have to perform 1,000 days of intensive walking and prayer over seven years.

Also lying at the foot of Mount Hiei, you can find a town called Sakamoto, with a lot of the priests homes, with incredible gardens, beautiful azalea, designated as a Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings.

Journey Highlights…

Sakamoto / Kaidan-in / Monjuro Gate / Enryaku-ji temple / Amida Hall


  • 8 hours Private Experience: From JPY37.000 for 1 guest. (JPY11.000 for each additional guest).
  • 0 – 5 years old (free) and 6 – 14 years old (–50%).


  • Kyoto Hotel pick up.
  • All admission tickets and transportation from/to Kyoto Station.
  • Your guide’s lunch up to JPY1.000.
  • Bottled Water.


  • Food and drink costs.
  • In the unplanned event of using taxis instead of public transportation, extra fees may apply.

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