Otsu, Japan

Admire the sacred beauty of the Otsu legendary mountain

Besides known as the main port of Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest lake, Otsu is home to numerous sites of historical importance, the most famous of which is Enryakuji Temple. Located on the sacred Hieizan Mountain and overlooking Kyoto, Enryakuji is the headquarters of the Tendai Buddhism in Japan, where the monks use extreme physical exercise as a means to approach enlightenment. The temple was founded in 788 by Saicho (767 – 822), but destroyed by Oda Nobunaga, a powerful feudal lord of the region, in 1571 before having been rebuilt in the early Edo Period. Today, Enryakuji is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities)”. Visitors to the temple can take a pleasant walking trail through the forest from the Todo (east area) to the Saito (west area) and discover many important temple buildings. To reach the temple, tourists can walk through the quaint town of Sakamoto to the foot of Hieizan Mount, take the Sakamoto Cable Car or hike to the top.

Japan Tours with this experience

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Kansai Cycling Tour

Kyoto → Ohara → Otsu → Uji → Nara
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Participate in a 5-day biking tour from Kyoto to neighboring rural areas

Indulge in the tranquil, calm atmosphere of Kifune Shrine and Kurama Temple

Take a relaxing soak in the Kurama open air hot spring surrounded by beautiful nature

Immerse yourself in the picturesque rural secenery of Ohara town while visiting its local market and famous temples

Discover the holy Enryakuji Temple on the sacred Hieizan Mountain

Explore the main attractions of the charming town Uji, including its green tea, the Byodoin Temple and the Tale of Genji museum

Pedal through the immense tea plantations in Wazuka and enjoy stunning views of the area

Free to visit famous sites and temples of Nara on bike or explore the scenic Yagyu Kaido route

Experience the traditional Japanese ryokan hospitality with delicious meals

Kyoto → Ohara → Otsu → Uji → Nara

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