Hieizan is one of the more hidden things in Kyoto. I had heard of it, but didn’t really know about it for a while – it took me nearly 6 years of living in Kyoto to actually visit there.
Basically it’s a series of temples on a mountain. It’s a bit of a hike (there is a train, but even after the train you’re still going to spend a lot of time in the forest) and is a bit interesting. There isn’t much English there, but it’s good for a change of pace compared to everything else (as you are walking around in a forest).
This is a series of temples in a forest, so it takes a bit of time – around 3 or 4 hours to see everything. A ticket for all of the temples costs 550 yen for adults and 350 yen for children.
To get there, take the Eizan Railway from Demachiyanagi and transfer to the cable car at Yasehieizan guchi station, then take the ropeway at the final stop (note that if you don’t buy a combination ticket, you have to buy them separately).