Enryaku-ji (延暦寺) is a Tendai monastery located on Mount Hiei in Ōtsu, overlooking Kyoto. It was founded during the early Heian period. The temple complex was established by Saichō (767–822), also known as Dengyō Daishi, who introduced the Tendai sect of Mahayana Buddhism to Japan from China. Enryaku-ji is the headquarters of the Tendai sect and one of the most significant monasteries in Japanese history. As such, it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.” The founders of Jōdo-shū, Sōtō Zen, and Nichiren Buddhism all spent time at the monastery. Enryaku-ji is also the home of the “marathon monks.”
On my Kyoto trip, I visited Enryaku-ji. Enryaku-ji is a sacred place and played significant role in Japanese Buddhism. Although it is not famous sightseeing spot for foreigners, Enryaku-ji is quite famous tourist spot among Japanese. Please visit Enryaku-ji as hidden tourist spot for foreigners, when you travel to Kyoto.