Kyoto in August | Hiking Mt. Hiei and the longest cable railway in Japan, Sakamoto Cable Railway

August 2021:

We hiked Mt. Hiei and rode down on the Sakamoto Cable Railway. At first, we planned to go to the Toei Kyoto Studio Park and stroll there wearing rental yukatas (like a casual Japanese kimono). However, the coronavirus was starting to rebound, so we avoided going to tourist facilities.

Route map

We got off at Shugakuin Sta. on the Eizan Main Line of Eizan Electric Railway, walked along the river, and saw the trailhead of Mt. Hiei. The narrow and slightly steep slope continued at the beginning, but we could feel the wind blowing around the halfway point, so we felt comfortable. We were able to see the Kyoto cityscape at the lookout on the way.

Entrance of the Kirara-zaka Slope
Trailhead of Mt. Hiei
Kirara-zaka Slope Castle Ruins
Lookout at the halfway point

There were deer near the summit. After that, the trail split into Mt. Hiei Summit Sta. and Todo, and we went to Todo, so we missed going to the Mt. Hiei summit this time.

Wild deer
Wild deer
Lookout near the summit

The tourist area of the Mt. Hiei Enryaku-ji Temple was divided into three areas, and it was hard to walk around, so we only strolled in the Todo area this time. The national treasure, Konpon Chudo Hall, was under construction.

Daikodo (big hall)
Good Luck Bell

We went out of Shiga prefecture by riding the Sakamoto Cable Railway, which is the longest cable railway in Japan. We were able to see Lake Biwa, which is the widest lake in Japan, from the lookout of the Cable Enryaku-ji Temple Sta. and from the cable railway. We were riding during an event, so the train announcement was made by the voice actor for Date Masamune (feudal lord of the State Warning Period in Japan) from the video game Sengoku Basara.

Sakamoto Cable Railway (with sound)

11:15 Shugakuin Sta. on the Eizan Main Line of Eizan Electric Railway
14:10 reception of Todo (entrance fee 1,000 yen / adult)
15:00 Cable Enryaku-ji Temple Sta. (870 yen / adult)
15:11 Cable Sakamoto Sta.