Jun. 28, 2019 UPDATE

Popular Philosopher’s Walk

- 哲学の道 -
The Philosopher’s Walk is a nice path for walks and for enjoying the cherry blossoms
Philosopher’s Walk (Tetsugaku no michi), also known as Path of Philosophy, is one of the famous cherry blossom viewing spots in Kyoto. The path goes between Ginkaku-ji Temple and Nanzen-ji Temple. It takes less than 30 minutes by foot for one way. The path is named after the Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida, who used to be engrossed in his thoughts while walking on the path. It is not only loved by locals but also by tourists who flock here to feel relaxed under the gorgeous cherry blossom arches in spring, fireflies in summer, red leaves in autumn, and snowy days in winter. There are various types of shops, restaurants, and cafés beside the path. Please enjoy the wonderful seasonally changing scenery.
Let's Walk Down The Path With A Beautiful View
Let's Walk Down The Path With A Beautiful View
The length of the path is 1.8km. Try walking slowly to be in the path as if you were a philosopher. The trees planted in rows and the murmur of the river will make you feel relaxed. There are famous sightseeing spots along the way including Ginkaku-ji Temple, Honen-in Temple, Eikan-do Temple, and more. You could walk around all of them by foot in half a day. There are some benches on the way as well to take breaks. I recommend you sit down and enjoy being surrounded by nature.
Look Down At The Canal
Look Down At The Canal
The Philosopher’s Walk runs by Lake Biwa Canal, a waterway that now mainly transports water but was used to transport people and freight. The canal provided water for Japan’s first hydroelectric power generator that was used to power the first tramline in Japan, Kyoto Electric Railway. You can see one of the trams in Heian Shrine that is close to Nanzen-ji Temple. These days the canal is used mainly as a water supply, but it still powers hydroelectric plants too. Not only can you enjoy nice views by the path, but you can also ponder the history of the place.
Take A Photo With This Rock
3Good Experiences
Take A Photo With This Rock
On the rock, "Philosopher’s Walk" is written in Japanese. A large number of tourists take photos with it. Taking photos is allowed, but please refrain from sitting on the rock. Run into some cats
Pet a Cat
4Good Experiences
Pet a Cat
A lot of cats live around Nanzen-ji Temple. They are so cute and really friendly towards people. Take some time to hang out and play with these friendly cats, and make your trip even more memorable.
Manner & Tips
- Manner & Tips -
The path doesn’t have any fences on the riverside. Please be careful not to fall when you take photos.
3.0 experience3.3 access2.8 photogenic3.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.0 experience3.0 access3.0 photogenic3.0
The path is the most popular during cherry blossom season, but I recommend the end of May to June when you can see Japanese fireflies. The Philosopher's Walk is famous as a day destination, but at night it offers a chance for you to see Japanese fireflies in their natural habitat.
3.0 experience3.5 access2.5 photogenic3.0
Walking the Philosopher's Path you forget about time, you sometimes even forget about yourself. During the peak time there are many people on the path, but if you are early or late you can enjoy your walk in peace! There are many temples and souvenir shops by the path.
4.8 experience4.5 access5.0 photogenic5.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
4.8 experience4.5 access5.0 photogenic5.0
Philosopher’s Walk / 哲学の道
Category Scenery
Phone None
Address Between Ginkaku-ji Street and a street close to Eikando Temple
Directions 1 minute-walk from Kyoto-city bus #100or #17 stop at Ginkakuji from JR Kyoto station 1 minute-walk from Kyoto city bus #204 or 93 stop at Ginkakuji from Kyoto city subway Marutamachi station 1 minute-walk from Kyoto city bus #203 or 102 stop at Ginkakuji from Kyoto city subway Imadegawa station
Open Hours Does not close
Reservations Not required
Closed Does not close
Price range
Credit cards No fee required
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
Good area to take photos
Information There are a sign boards written in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean.
Lanuages spoken No staff at location
Page Top