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May. 07, 2020 UPDATE
Philosopher's Path - 哲学の道 -
Traveler Friendly
Good area to take photos
Information
There are a sign boards written in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean.
Languages spoken
No staff at location
7332 159 9.7 1 reviews
May. 07, 2020 UPDATE

Philosopher's Path

- 哲学の道 -
Traveler Friendly
Good area to take photos
Information
There are a sign boards written in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean.
Languages spoken
No staff at location
7332 159 9.7 1 reviews
Story & Recommendation
The Philosopher's Path – Tranquil Walks and Beautiful Cherry Blossoms
Philosopher's Path (Tetsugaku no michi) is one of the most famous cherry blossom spots in Kyoto. The path stretches from the Ginkaku-ji Temple to the Nanzen-ji Temple and takes less than 30 minutes to complete.
The path is named after the Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida, who used to engross himself in thought while walking the path. Until recently, the path was little known to non-locals, but nowadays, it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city.
Every year, people from all around flock to the path to relax under the gorgeous cherry blossom of spring, see the fireflies of summer, marvel at the red leaves of autumn, and brave the snowy days of winter.
No matter the season, you’ll be able to enjoy a relaxing, contemplative stroll with your thoughts. The area around the path is also home to various shops, restaurants, and cafés too.
1Highlight
Take in the Beauty of the Philosopher's Path
Take in the Beauty of the Philosopher's Path
Following the footsteps of philosopher Kitaro Nishida, stroll down the 1.8 km long path and take in the relaxing sounds of murmuring river and rustling trees. Along the path, in addition to rows of cherry blossoms, you’ll also find a number of famous sightseeing spots. The Ginkaku-ji, Honen-in and Eikan-do temples are all situated near the Philosopher’s Path and take about half a day to get around. There are some benches along the path too, which we recommend sitting down at and taking in picturesque surroundings.
2Highlight
Admire the Lake Biwa Canal
Admire the Lake Biwa Canal
The Philosopher's Path runs alongside the Lake Biwa Canal, a waterway which used to transport both people and freight. The canal was used to provide water for Japan’s first hydroelectric power generator which was used to power the country’s first ever tramline, the Kyoto Electric Railway. In a small park near the Heian Shrine – close to Nanzen-ji Temple – you can see one of the original trams. These days the canal is mainly used for water supply, but it still powers hydroelectric plants too. Philosopher’s Path not only boasts incredibly beautiful scenery, but it has a rich history and deep connection with the industrialization of Kyoto as well.
3Good Experiences
The “Tetsugaku no Michi” Rock
The “Tetsugaku no Michi” Rock
On this rock are carved the characters “哲学の道” (tetsugaku no michi), which is the Japanese name for the Philosopher's Path. As this is one of the landmarks of the path, it’s very popular with photo taking tourists. While photos are allowed, please refrain from sitting on the rock.
4Good Experiences
Pet a Cat
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 -
The path doesn’t have any fences on the riverside. Please be careful not to fall when you take photos.
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