Philosopher’s Walk

Changing through the seasons, a path where you can enjoy the beauty of nature.

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Philosopher’s Walk is an approximately 1.5km walking path along the foot of Mt. Higashiyama. On the western end of a canal built in the Meiji Era lies the stone-paved path which has also been selected as one of Japan’s Top 100 Streets.
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Weekdays ( 12:0 AM ~ 12:0 AM )
Tetsugakunomichi Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

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Get a full appreciation of the rich natural beauty through the cherry blossoms of spring and the colors of autumn

Philosopher’s Walk is a short path which starts from Nyakuouji Shrine and passes Honen-in Shrine heading for Ginkaku-ji Temple along the canal. Philosopher Kitaro Nishida walked along this path while meditating which gave it its name. About 450 cherry trees are planted along the 1.5 km path, and it’s famous as a place for sakura. The cherries along either side of the canal are known as kansetsu-zakura, and they proudly bloom into a tunnel of cherry blossoms. The path is also beautiful during the other seasons. You can enjoy nature throughout the four seasons with fireflies in summer and the colors of autumn.

The scenery is one thing, but there are also plenty of soothing cafes and places serving Japanese sweets!

Philosopher’s Walk is located midway through the royal route of Kyoto tourism heading from Nanzen-ji Temple to Ginkaku-ji Temple (and vice versa) which spans about 3km. If you go straight, it will take 30 minutes on foot. However, there are a number of cafes and places serving Japanese sweets along the walk that you will want to stop at. There is nothing better than having a cup of coffee while appreciating the beautiful scenery. The jizo statues at Miroku-in Temple near Ginkaku-ji are also not be missed. These statues are called the jizo of happiness and one feature of these is their cradling of children. Many people come by to pray for happiness.

Drop by for a bit to encounter an unusual Buddhist statue.

It’s a bit off the beaten path from Philosopher’s Walk, but you will want to drop by a temple that has been called a mystery spot even within Kyoto. Familiarly known as Kurodani-san, this is the Kurotani Konkai-Komyoji Temple, a head temple for the Jodo sect. This is also the temple where the paramilitary force, Shinsengumi, was formed. Here, you can encounter a slightly eccentric Buddhist statue. The Gogo-Shiyui Amida Butsu is different from other Buddhist statues in that it has the peculiar characteristic of a lot of hair that resembles an afro. As a result of his long meditation, his hair grew into that shape. This is an unusual statue for which only 16 exist nationwide. If you come to Philosopher’s Walk, come over by all means.

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