"Sohei" armed clergy are watching from Mt.Hiei

What is the Temple of Hieizan Enryaku-ji ?

  More than 1,200 years have passed since the Reverend Dengyo-daishi Saicho settled in Mt. Hieizan to establish a sect of Buddhism that suits the way Japanese people think and behave, wishing for the nation`s stability and the happiness of the people. The main theme of his teachings is that if every one of us is conscious of the others` circumstances and does whatever he or she can do, our society will be better.

 It is called the Mother Mountain of the Japanese Buddhist world, since it trained and gave birth to many noted priests like Honen, Eisai, Shinran, Dogen and Nichiren. Hieizan Enryaku-ji-Temple, registered in the World Cultural Heritage Sites list, consists of many magnificent buildings and lies on the top of Mt.Hiei, which is some 800 meters high above the sea level. The entire temple enclosure stretches for a few kilometers.

Turbulent history

 The entire temple buildings were attacked and burnt down by a powerful feudal lord, Oda Nobunaga, in the middle of the 16th century when those vying for the control of this country were fighting against each other.

The temple consists of three districs

 The temple precincts are made up of three districts of Toto (East district), Seito (West district) and Yokogawa district. The area is so wide and slopes are so steep that you have to be dressed in clothes for a mountain climbing and be ready for a hard physical exercise. 


 You can see the beautiful scenery from a cable car as it goes up the mountain. Once you are in the temple enclosure, you will be amazed at the dozens of splendid buildings built with exquisite technique. You can enjoy having a look at the magnificent structures and strolling on the paths. Especially at "Konponchudo" main hall, you can immerse yourself in the mythical world of Buddhism. It is difficult to explain what the temple is all about in its entirety in this column; just visit and see.

Both Kyoto and Otsu cities are under watch (My personal fancy)

  Since Mt. Hiei overlooks the surrounding areas, it seems likely that armed "sohei" clergy soldiers descend from the mountain and attack those who are causing a disorder and unrest at any time.

Tour of Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple is here. 


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