Enryaku-ji temple Otsu-Shiga

Taking the cable car

During Golden Week which is a 5 day holiday in Japan I visited Enryaku-ji. First I took the Heihan railway to Sakamoto station. As it was a national holiday there were loads of staff assisting us to take the bus to get the cable car. The cable car is 860yen for a single journey and 1620 yen for a return. I only bought a single ticket thinking that i'd walk back. But this was a mistake. It is far to far to walk back down so I definitely recommend buying a return. Also it works out a little cheaper to do it that way rather than buying two singles. The cable car ride is a  10 minutes to the top.  It's a pretty steep journey , but it's very enjoyable.
Cable car to the top
View of Biwa lake

When you get off the cable car you can see a stunning view of Lake Biwa. Luckily when I went the weather was nice. As Enryaku-ji is very high up on mount Hiei and there are lots of trees,  summer might not be the best time to go as there will probably be a lot of mosquitoes.
The entrance fee is 700 yen. Remember to keep the ticket as you'll need to show it to enter other temples.
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If you go to Enryaku-ji you can spend several hours there as there are so many temples to visit. However, not all of them are near each other, which results in a lot of walking!. There is a small gift shop but there aren't any restaurants of cafes once you have entered the grounds of Enryaku-ji so it might be a good idea to bring some food with you.
To sum up:
  • Get a return ticket for the cable car
  • Remember to keep your ticket in order to enter other areas of the grounds
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Take food/drinks

Amalia Elford