Temple Lodging in Japan

Hieizan Enryaku-ji Kaikan
TEL 077-578-0047 including 2 meals 15,000 yen ~
Access "JR Kyoto station" > (bus) > "Enryaku-jji Bus Center bus stop" > 5 minutes walk
Room 65 guest room , max 250 people

This temple was established by Saicho, (the founder of the Tendai sect) in 788 and has been called the Mother of Japanese Buddhism as it produced so many great priests. The entire Mount Hiei, which is located to the northwest of Kyoto, is the precinct of this temple. Around the three areas of the East Tower, the West Tower and the Yokogawa River, there are about 200 towers. Also, it is registered as a World Heritage Site.

Shukubo Enryaku-ji Kaikan is located near the East Tower or Konponchudo, which serves a central role in Mount Hiei. The rooms are large and comfortable and are equipped with a TV set, air conditioning, a safe and a bonsai plant. Yukata robes, toothbrushes and towels are also provided. From the window, you can enjoy the twinkling view of the town along the largest lake in Japan, Lake Biwa, at night and the rising sun in the morning.

They serve shojin vegetarian cuisine, which contains dishes such as raw yuba (tofu skin), cooked yuba and soup. You will be able to fully enjoy tasting yuba, their specialty. I especially liked the bouncy feel of cooked yuba when I tasted it. A variety of food, including sashimi and tempura of devil's tongue jelly, are also served. You can ask for a second bowl of cooked rice and order beer and/or sake.

The morning services are conducted in the Konponchudo hall, a national treasure. The hall of Enryakuji is constructed in the Tendai model, where the interior is three meters lower than the exterior, so you peer into the interior between the pillars during the service. Therefore, it is better to go early and reserve a place. "Kiezu-no-Tomoshibi" (the Eternal Light), which has been lit for 1,200 years, looms up from the darkness. In its light, the priests chant the sutra and repeat the true words of the Buddha of Medicine to the sound of the temple blocks and bells. The mysteriousness of Tendai Mikkyo (Tendai Esoteric Buddhism) impresses people.

I stayed from New Year's Eve until the new year. There were many events on this day. (The fee was higher as a result.) There was a sermon from 22:00 followed by Shushoe, Onioishiki and the hitting of Joyano-kane. In Shushoe, they hit and ring various sorts of bells to drive the devils out of the Konponchudo hall, catch them using religious power and throw them out. This is followed by Onitsuishiki, which is held in front of the hall, in which the Shakujoshi fights against the four devils, Laughter, Anger, Sobbing and No Light and finally the devils yield to the priest. It is like dramatic performance of the actors playing a priest with a stick and devils with masks on. However, the movements are quick and powerful. The joyano-kane hitting event is held in front of the large hall and five people hit the bell together at a time. You will feel the vibrations of the bell. It is a really large bell and the guests staying at the shukubo are given a numbered ticket with priority.

In addition, they serve complimentary toshikoshisoba, which is a bowl of buckwheat noodles served at the end of the year as well as sweet sake, besides the dinner in the precinct. On the morning of New Year's Day, they serve congratulatory sake, congratulatory food and cooked mixed vegetables, etc. As congratulations for the coming of the new year, their services are as complete as any other place.

Please confirm the latest information at the time of lodging.