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Enryakuji Temple on Mount Hiei

World Cultural Heritage and Headquarters of the Tendai Sect of Japanese Buddhism

As written in the Hyakunin Isshu by poet and monk Jien, Mount Hiei has been worshiped as the world’s greatest mountain. It was registered as a World Heritage in 1994 because the world recognized the rich natural environment with Lake Biwa to the east and Kyoto to the west, and the Eternal Light that has been protected for 1,200 years.

It became a World Cultural Heritage, didn't it?

As Jien, whose poetry is included in the Hyakunin Isshu poems, wrote in his poem, Mt. Hiei is revered as the best mountain in the world and was registered as a World Heritage Site in 1994. The site is recognized for its Ever-Burning Dharma Light that has been preserved for the past twelve hundred years and the rich natural environment from which you can see Lake Biwa in the east and Kyoto in the west.

What is the Ever-Burning Dharma Light?

A light offered to deities that has not gone out for the past twelve hundred years is located in the Konpon Chudo Hall at the core of Mt. Hiei. The monks have poured rapeseed oil on the light every morning and every evening to keep the light from going out. The expression for “Carelessness is the greatest enemy (Yudan taiteki)” comes from this situation as the kanji characters used for “carelessness” are “oil” and “cut off” (Don’t cut off the oil, meaning Don’t be careless).

I heard that a Buddhist monk training experience is offered…

Experiences such as transcribing sutras and seated Zen meditation, as well as overnight training are offered so that you can take time to face yourself so as to become somebody treasured by the nation. There is also a restaurant where you can eat Buddhist vegetarian dishes.