Thursday, 29 October 2015

Access to the Holy Mountain: Part 3

The gondola number 2 of the Eizan Ropeway (aerial tramway), Keifuku Electric Railway

Following my previous post, I am going to continue to show you the access route to Mt. Hiei from the Kyoto Prefecture side.

After getting off the funicular at Cable-Hiei Station, I transferred to the aerial tramway, the Eizan Ropeway Line of Keifuku Electric Railway. The aerial tramway on Mt. Hiei was originally opened in 1928 by Kyoto Dento, which was an electric power company; however, it was suspended during WWII. The new route was opened in 1956 by Keifuku Electric Railway Company. Connecting Rope-Hiei and Hiei-sancho (the summit of Mt. Hiei) stations, its route length is 486 m. The height difference between the highest and the lowest points on the route is 131 m. The operation interval is 8 to 24 minutes. It takes 3 minutes from Rope-Hiei to Hiei-sancho Station.

After arriving at Hiei-sancho Station, I visited Enryaku-ji temple. It was very cool because the temple was located about 800 m above sea level. On that night, I stayed at Shukubo (temple lodging) and had a Shojin Ryori. It was Budhist cuisine, which was similar to vegetarian food. Shojin Ryori contains vegetables, beans and rice, but neither fish nor meat.

Non-Buddhist is also welcome to stay there as a guest. Drinking beer or sake (Japanese rice wine) is also allowed. Furthermore, guests can join the morning praying at the main hall of Enryaku-ji temple, if you wish. It will be your unique experience in Japan.

Monju-ro of Enryaku-ji Temple