Attraction Philosopher's Walk Japan 〒606-8402 京都府京都市 左京区 Published on: 08-03-2016
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Why Philosopher's Walk is special ?
The Philosopher's Path (哲学の道, Tetsugaku no michi) is a pleasant stone path through the northern part of Kyoto's Higashiyama district. The path follows a canal which is lined by hundreds of cherry trees. Usually in early April these trees explode with color, making this one of the city's most popular hanami (cherry blossom viewing) spots.
Approximately two kilometers long, the path begins around Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) and ends in the neighborhood of Nanzenji. The path gets its name due to Nishida Kitaro, one of Japan's most famous philosophers, who was said to practice meditation while walking this route on his daily commute to Kyoto University.
What to explore at Philosopher's Walk?
There are some shops and restaurants and stores selling the local ginger cookies, but for the most part it has remained understated. Most of the buildings along the path are private homes.
In addition to the temples and shops on Philosopher's Walk, there are a few galleries and craft shops.
In addition to the Silver Pavilion and Nanzenji, other temples and shrines can also be found along the path. They include Eikando, Kumano Nyakuoji Shrine, Reikanji, Anrakuji Temple, Otoyo Jinja and Honen-in.
Locals also often use the path, and it is popular among the dog-walking set, older people, and lovers both young and not so young.
How to get to Philosopher's Walk?
- Philosopher's Walk Access (from Silver Pavilion)
From Kyoto Station, take bus #5 or the Raku Bus #100. About 25 minutes. The fare is 220 yen.
Demachiyanagi Station on the Keihan Line is the nearest train station, but it is about a twenty-minute walk. From the Station, go out to Imadegawa Dori (street). Walk away from the river, toward the mountains in the distance. Walk straight up the street, passing Kyoto University on your right. You will see signs after you cross Shirakawa Dori and continue straight.
Tel: 075 771 5725
2 Ginkaku-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto.
- Philosopher's Walk Access (from Nanzenji)
A short walk from the Keage subway station (Tozai Line).
Philosopher's Walk Japan 〒606-8402 京都府京都市 左京区
Tips for you
Be warned, because the Path of Philosophy is lined with cherry trees, it will be crammed with people during cherry blossom season. The simple solution? Walk the path just after sunset, when the crowds have gone home (the trees are illuminated for several hours after sunset and they’re magical after dark).What to bring
This "Path of Philosophy" walk follows a small stream lined with cherry blossom trees from Ginkaku-ji Temple to Nanzen-ji Temple. The walk can be done in 25-30 min without stopping, but it's meant to be a pleasant, relaxing stroll. So. We took about an hour (and then some) to walk, pray, reflect, philosophize, view the fish, take photos, and visit the local shops along the way. The whole experience felt "very Kyoto"; the foliage green, the walk relaxing, the scenery beautiful, the path frequented with temples or shrines, the fish swimming, and some people in kimonos. :) It's a great way to spend 1-2 hours in Kyoto. I'd recommend visiting Ginkaku-ji Temple in the morning at the northern end, having lunch, then walking off the calories as you head south to Nanzen-ji Temple. From there, you can continue walking or hail a cab to continue heading back towards the center of town. (Note: The 1-2 hours does not include time exploring the temples on either end.)