Mt. Hiei, the mother mountain of Japanese Buddhism, stands over the border between Kyoto and Shiga Prefectures. The fresh air of the forest and the magnificent views of the sparkling water surface of Lake Biwa bring you to the state of calmness.
L’Hotel de Hiei is the closest place you can retreat to restore your mind and soul. Wrapped in the blue sky and green forest, sleep and wake up in the middle of the World Heritage Site. Moments of relaxation to clear your mind.
Luxurious time in a world heritage site
In 1994, Hieizan, including Enryaku-ji Temple, was registered as a World Heritage Site as a “cultural asset of the ancient city of Kyoto”, and the temple has been in charge of the protection of the city since the Heian period.
Located in the mountains of Mt. Hiei, “L’Hotel de Hiei” offers a relaxing stay, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and feeling the breath of the World Heritage Site.
Mt. Hiei and the surrounding area
A popular half-day tour from Hieizan Enryakuji Temple to Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine. We also have a special plan to visit the main shrine (a national treasure) for a special price for our hotel guests only. Why don’t you stay in Mt. Hiei and do a little luxury exorcism?
Yamadoko Terrace with a magnificent view of Lake Biwa
The view from the terrace overlooking Lake Biwa (South Lake) in the forest at an elevation of 600m is exceptional. You can enjoy fermented tea, sweets and aperitifs while relaxing at the counter in the “Yamadoko Terrace”, which was inspired by Kyoto’s riverbed.
French city-inspired rooms
There are three types of rooms: standard twin, semi-suite and suite. The French city-like décor will make you feel as if you are visiting a foreign country.
The cuisine packed with the delicacies of Omi and Kyoto
With a night view of Mount Hiei, the restaurant offers dishes that incorporate ingredients from Shiga and Kyoto. The menu includes a “Beef Lava Plate” and a “Casual French Course” that can be eaten with chopsticks. *During the winter season (December to March), the beef lava plate will be replaced by a hot pot.
Spa using ultra-soft water “HieNoReisui”
“L’Hotel de Hiei”s original menu offers two types of treatments: the HieNoReisui Treatment and the Herb Oil Treatment, which refreshes you with the blessings of the herb garden. We use the power of nature to help you tune your mind and body.
A precious experience in the mountains of Shiga and Kyoto, where two cultures and nature
Located on the World Heritage Site of Mount Hiei, “L’Hotel de Hiei” overlooks the clear sky and Lake Biwa. It is located on the border between Shiga and Kyoto, and has been a key point of cultural exchange since ancient times.
Whether you are in the hotel or outside, we will deliver an “experience” that allows you to feel the breath of Mount Hiei.
L’Hotel de Hiei accommodates Standard Twin, Semi Suite and Suite rooms inspired by cities of France such as Paris, Province, Normandy, Brittany and Savoie that make you feel like traveling to a foreign country to enhance your travelling mood. Step aside from daily life and have tranquil time overlooking gorgeous sky view from the window.
Excitement and relaxation of your journey
Gorgeous view from the mountain spreads out from the window and singing birds chirping pleasant music. Each room’s design is inspired by cities of France. Enjoy the whole atmosphere inside out.
Take your stay to the next level
As soon as walk into the room you will see a majestic view of the mountain and sky in the living room with cozy sofas and tea table to enjoy quality tea time or reading books to relax.
Make yourself at home
Suite room Named “PARIS”. A space that feels luxurious, yet casual like an apartment in Paris. Living and dining room on the first floor go up the spiral stairs to the second floor for a bedroom with 4 beds.
L’Hotel de Hiei’s “Omotenashi” starts with a welcome drink. Each dish is delicately prepared by the chef, using the best local ingredients. Enjoy the deliciousness with wine picked by sommelier.
You can enjoy a French-inspired course meal with the night view from Mt. The dishes are prepared with an abundance of seasonal ingredients from Shiga, Omi beef, and the blessings of Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan. The menu offers the “Wagyu Lava Plate Course” and the “French Course”.
Hiei’s original menu, “Hie No Reisui Treatment”, is unique to “L’Hotel de Hiei”. Feel comfortable and refreshed by the blessings of the herb garden. Two types of herbal oil treatments are available. We use the power of nature to help you tune your mind and body.
About HIE NO REISUI
Hie is described in the Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters) as “Hie no Yama”. It is called “Hie no reisui” because it gushes out of the historic Mt. Hie. This water is a rare ultra-soft water with a hardness of 19. In Japan, there are only a few products that meet the standard of ultra-soft water hardness 50.
It is gentle on the skin because it is soft and does not dry out after washing. Located on the continuation of Enryaku-ji Temple on Mt. Hiei, L’Hotel de Hiei uses Hie No Reiisui reincarnated water for all of its treatments and drinking water.
Hie No Reisui Facial
Relax with a mist of Hie No Reisui and use a face mask to condition your skin. After guiding the flow from the chest to the face, a moisturizing mask with Hie No Reisui, Japanese herbal extracts, and a moisturizing mask was applied. It brightens the skin, leaving it looking refreshed and toned.
Herb Garden Menu
Relax for a moment with nature’s nurturing herbal extracts. This herb garden menu will relax your neck and shoulders and refresh you comfortably with the blessings of herbs. Please spend a moment of relaxation in the comfort of your own body and skin.
The place you can enjoy the specious scenery of Lake Biwa with a panoramic sky and feel the warmth of forest on Mt. Hiei. Where you can meditate to hear your inner self or have quality time with your loved one to enrich your time.
Beginning of the journey
The sunlight comes through tall glass windows, the open stylish atmosphere feels like a museum designed by a French designer. L’Hotel de Hiei welcomes guests with a superb view of Shiga.
Spectacular view of Lake Biwa “Yamadoko Terrace” offers a taste of Kyoto’s Kawadoko
Sky terrace overlooks Lake Biwa from About 600m above sea level. The counter seats set in the forest are reminiscent of Kyoto’s summer tradition, Kawadoko. Forget the hustle and bustle for a while and relax while breathing the fresh air of the mountain.
Mt. Hiei Yakubarai (Exorcism) tour
Mt. Hiei has been known for more than 1200 years as a guardian mountain from evil spirits. UNESCO World Heritage Site “Mt. Hiei Enryakuji” located at the peak and “Hiyoshi-Taisha” at the foot of the mountain.
The whole mountain itself is considered sacred with a spiritual atmosphere. L’Hotel de Hiei is the one and only hotel can stay on Mt. Hiei so that it has easy access to both locations. We offer a special “Yakubarai Plan” exclusively for hotel guests.
While staying in the middle of the World Heritage site, warding off evil spirits and have a refreshing new day.
A day of Mt. Hiei Yakubarai (Exorcism) tour schedule.
Going to Enryakuji Temple while bathing in the morning sun. Wake up a little early and take a free shuttle bus to Enryakuji. Take a deep breath of morning chilly fresh air and stretch your body in the mountain makes you feel refreshed.
If it’s in the right condition you might be able to encounter the river of the clouds from the bus. (Winter: 6:30 a.m. between December and February)
Exclusive Morning Practice for hotel guests. Enryakuji is the headquarter of the Japan Tendai Buddhism founded by monk Saicho, Traditionally divided into three areas: Todo(east area), Saito(west area) and Yokawa(north area). (Winter: 7:00 a.m. from December to February)
“Mt. Hiei Yakubarai (Exorcism) tour” is exclusively for L’Hotel de Hiei guests only. You will visit Todo, original main hall “Konpon-chudo” to experience the morning practice. Buddhist monk reads sutra for exorcism.
There is an eternal flame that has been burning for 1,200 years since Saicho started Enryakuji. When you listen to the sutra by the burning, eternal flame creates a spiritual atmosphere and notice the shifts of your mind and heart to be in a calm state.
Enryakuji also have a Gomaku ritual. We will give you the Gomaki (wood stick) upon arrival at check in, please write your wishes and give back to hotel staff before the tour.
After the Morning Practice, go back to the hotel for breakfast. Enjoy the deliciousness of Kyoto and Shiga’s taste with the view of Lake Biwa sparkling in sunlight.
Take your Goshuincho (Stamp book) to stroll around Enryakuji-Temple. After checkout head back to the Enryakuji todo area to visit pagodas that you missed in the morning.
Each pagoda has a Goshuin (stamp) so if you are collecting don’t forget to bring your stamp book. Hotel guests going back to Kyoto Station, leave your luggage at the hotel front desk and you can pick up at Kyoto station. So enjoy the rest of your trip with luggage free.
Take a break with the Sanskrit Latte in your hand. After strolling, enjoy coffee time at Shukubou in Enryakuji-Temple. Here we will give guests a special Omamori for those who participated in “Mount Hiei Yakubarai tour”. Then take a break with “Bonji Latte,” which has a Sanskrit character of your birth year’s zodiac sign over a latte.
In the dignified tranquility of Enyakuji, we offer plans to experience Zazan Meditation and Sutra Transcription. Listen to your inner self and calm your mind. This could be a luxury moment of self-care.
Ride cable car to Hiyoshi Taisha. Take Sakamoto cable car Enryakuji station to Hiyoshi Taisha at the foot of Mt. Hiei. The total distance the cable car travels is 2,025m which makes it the longest cable car ride in Japan.
Gaze down Lake Biwa, go through a tunnel and the excitement of passing by another cable car. You don’t want to miss taking a perfect photo from this continuously changing breathtaking view while the ride.(Hotel guests wish to drive there, we will inform separately.)
When you arrive at Sakamoto Station, walk to Hiyoshi-Taisha Shrine while feeling the dignified air that is different from the mountaintop of Mt. Hiei.
Hiyoshi-Taisha is the head shrine of approximately 3,800 Hiyoshi, Hie and Sanno shrines throughout Japan and when the Heiankyo recapitalization took place it was considered the guardian of the city and prospered as protector of the capital against evil spirit and natural disasters.
Walk down deeper into the shrine precinct and arrive at Nishi-hon-gū, where the “Yakubarai “ ceremony begins. Guji (monk) reads Norito (ritual prayers) to start purifications. At the end of the ceremony representative of the participants can experience prayer themselves.
Hiyoshi-Taisha Grand Exorcism (Ōharae) special prayer
Guests who would like to experience a deeper purification, we offer a special ceremony in “Shimotono” the lower hall inside the main shrine. “Shimotono” is “Lower hall” is the room set under the floor of the main hall.
In the past, monks from Enryaku-ji Temple worshiped Buddha statues and paintings and performed Buddhist worship here.
Although it has been removed today due to the separation of Shinto and Buddhism, it is still a sacred place where the Tendai sect practice, “Sennichi kaihōgyō” visits to pray. The public rarely has access to the lower shrine, a special experience only for those who wish to participate.
Participant will receive “osagari” included Yakuyoke-ya(ward off evil arrow), Yakuyoke-fuda(ward off evil board), Yakuyoke-omamori(ward off evil amulet), Gold Oshūin, Soba-bōro and tea.
Guests who participated in “Mt. Hiei Yakubarai (Exorcism) tour” will receive “osagari” included Yakuyoke-omamori (word off evil amulet), Tea and specialty of Mt. Hiei soba-bōro snack. Please feel the purification of Hiyoshi-Taisha at home as well.
At the Hiyoshi-Taisha, the “monkey” is considered a symbol of charm; it has been treated with great care as a messenger of God. You can see monkeys at “Masaru-sha” and there are hidden monkey sculptures everywhere.
After Hiyoshi-Taisha head to the last destination “Kyu-chikurin-in”. Not far from Hiyoshi-Taisha and this place were a former residence for retired monks of Enryakuji. The highlight of this place is the garden designated as a national site of scenic beauty.
In spring the garden is filled with gorgeous greenery and fall autumn leaves turn to colorful colors, you can enjoy different superb garden view throughout the year. Sipping matcha while listening to the waterfall sound in the garden to have a relaxing moment.
Mt. Hiei Enryakuji-Temple
Mt. Hiei the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, Enryakuji is about 7 min drive from L’Hotel de Hiei. Enryakuji is the headquarter of the Tendai Buddhism founded by monk Saicho, that has about 1,200 years of history from the Heian period to the present.
There are more than 150 buildings in Enryakuji. Traditionally divided into three areas: Todo(east area), Saito(west area) and Yokawa(north area). L’Hotel de Hiei’s “Mt. Hiei Yakubarai Exorcism plan”, hotel guests will visit Todo, which is the main area, where the monastery was originally founded.
You can see the Eternal Flame that has been burning for 1,200 years, also at the Kokuhōden(National Treasure Hall) to see national treasures and important cultural properties.
Sakamoto is a historic town in the World Heritage site Enryakuji. Also, there is a ruin of Sakamoto Castle, built by Mitsuhide Akechi, ordered by Nobunaga Oda is a popular tourist site for history enthusiasts and TV drama lovers.
You also can visit “Hiyoshi-Taisha” when the Heiankyo recapitalization took place it was considered the guardian of the city and prospered as protector of the capital against evil spirit and natural disasters. And “Hiyoshi-chaen” which is the oldest tea garden to take a historical stroll.
About 30 min drive from L’Hotel de Hiei, Lake Biwa is one of the few ancient Lakes in the world that has existed for over a million years. Experience the long history of the lake, everyday lifestyles and culture of the people who have been supported by the water.
Our recommendation is “Kami no shima” (Island of the Gods) covered in rich nature that has been believed as a sacred island since the Nara period. Enjoy Lake Biwa cruise for about 20 min to reach the destination.
You will find National treasure “Karamon” and Important cultural property “Kannondo” at the island to enjoy the spiritual and historic journey.
Hachiman-bori Canal leads to Lake Biwa, take cruise Ōmi Hachiman’s scenic canal and experience its living history. In Hikone city, Hikone Castle is one of just five registered as the National treasure castle is also recommended, as well as the nearby “Genkyu-en”.
The garden, which was created to imitate Lake Biwa and Ōmi-hakkei, is such a breathtaking tranquil beauty. The destination is about 1 hour and 30 min by driving from L’Hotel de Hiei if you have extra time to visit this place would be an option to explore a bit further.