Kirara-zaka Slope (雲母坂)
Kirara-zaka Slope indicates the old road to the top of Mt. Hiei from the side of Shugakuin Rikyu (the Shugakuin imperial villa) in Shugakuin, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, and is also a road used by the ascetics who practiced Sennichi-kaihogyo (a practice of walking around the mountain while paying visits to various sacred places for 1,000 day in total). At present, this path is known as Kirara-zaka Slope, but there are other theories which say that Kirara-zaka Slope indicates Manshuin-michi Road (the portion of the Takano Shugakuin-Yamabana Line of Kyoto Prefectural Route 104), which was also a road used by the ascetics, in Ichijo-ji, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City or the road approaching Manju-in Temple.
The reason why the name of the slope is Kirara is said to be due to the inclusion of cracked granite, which includes Kirara (雲母: mica), but other theories exist as well. Soil found at other slopes mentioned above is similar in composition as to the description above, before the roads were paved.
To reach the present path up the mountain, walk toward the mountain side from the east from Shugakuin Station on the Eizan Line of Eizan Electric Railway or from the Shugakuin Rikyu-michi Road bus stop of Kyoto City Bus, and then climb along the Otowa-gawa River (Kyoto Prefecture). You will reach Kirara-bashi Bridge after walking through a residential area, where the path starts. A stone monument related to Shinran (a famous priest in the Kamakura period) is placed there, and the area around it has become a park to show how to prevent disaster in the Otowa-gawa River (Kyoto Prefecture). While the entrance to the path can be reached while wearing ordinary attire, it should be noted that the surrounding area is not paved and full of many small stones.
From there, climb the road around the periphery of Shugakuin Rikyu (the Shugakuin imperial villa). The road is hollowed out in various places, signifying just how long this road has been used. After passing "Mizunomi-taizin-no-ato (a historical battle site)," the area opens up to beautiful scenery before soon arriving at Cable Hiei Station of Keifuku Electric Railroad Kosaku Line.
To visit Manshuin-michi Road, another alternative to the actual Kirara-zaka Slope, walk to the east (in the direction of the mountain) from Ichijoji Station on the Eizan Line of Eizan Electric Railway or from the Ichijoji-Sagari-Matsucho bus stop of Kyoto City Bus and turn left in front of Ichijoji-Sagari-Matsu. After crossing a small river, you will reach the first of the alternative slopes.
Walk further, and you will reach a fork in the road; take the road on the right, and walk straight ahead; keep the woods of Saginomori-jinja Shrine on the left, and cross a small river again to reach the second alternative slope
Turn to the left on the road uphill in front of Manshu-in Temple, walk along the road, which allows you to look down the Shugakuin area, up to a mansion where the road turns to the left, walk down the slope beside the wall of the mansion, as if approaching the front side of the mansion, and you will reach a road along the Otowa-gawa River. Walk up to the right, and you soon arrive at the place where the path up the mountain starts.