Highlights and access methods of Philosopher's Path (Kyoto Prefecture)

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The Philosopher's Path is a scenic walk of about 2 kilometers located in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto. Its name comes from an episode where Kitaro Nishida, a philosopher from the Showa era, used to stroll and ponder here. Known also for its cherry blossom trees, it is a beautiful place where full-bloom sakuras can be observed in the spring. Along the way, there are numerous temples and cafes, making it an ideal spot to spend time leisurely.

In this article, we will explain the attractions of Philosopher's Path in Kyoto Prefecture and how to access it for those who are traveling to Japan from overseas.

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(Prefecture : Kyoto , Category : Townscapes and Area)

Highlights of Philosopher's Path

The Philosopher's Path, located in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto city, is a quiet cobblestone path stretching alongside a canal lined with hundreds of cherry trees. The path got its name because the philosopher Nishida Kitaro was said to take strolls along this path for meditation. It extends for about 2 kilometers, from Nanzenji Temple at the southern end to Ginkakuji Temple at the northern end.

When spring comes, the Philosopher's Path transforms into one of the city's most beautiful cherry blossom viewing spots. Hundreds of trees blanket both the canal and the path with pink petals. During the cherry blossom season, it is bustling with tourists from around the world, who can enjoy the dreamy scenery.

In the midst of beautiful nature, there are many small temples and shrines, shops and cafes with a traditional feel, where visitors can explore and take a break. Also, be sure to stop by Hosho-in Temple, which is located along the Philosopher's Path.

Although the Philosopher's Path is particularly recommended during the cherry blossom season, it offers unique sceneries in each season. If you have time, please take a leisurely stroll.

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Address and access method of Philosopher's Path

The address of the northern end of Philosopher's Path (near Ginkakuji Temple) is "57 Jodoji Higashidacho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture". To get to the northern end of Philosopher's Path (near Ginkakuji), take the city bus and get off at Ginkakujimichi, then walk for about 5 minutes. It takes about 40 minutes to get to the Ginkakuji-michi stop by changing to a city bus from JR Kyoto Station, and about 12 minutes to changing to a city bus from Imadegawa Station on the subway Karasuma Line.

The address of the southern end of Philosopher's Path (near Wakaoji Shrine) is "15-1 Wakaoji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto". To get to the southern end of Philosopher's Path (near Wakaoji Shrine), take the city bus and get off at Nanzenji Eikando-michi, then walk for about 10 minutes. It takes about 35 minutes to get to Nanzenji Eikando-michi by changing to a city bus from JR Kyoto Station. Alternatively, get off at Keage Station on the Tozai Subway Line and walk about 20 minutes from there.

Attractions near Philosopher's Path

Several notable attractions are located near Philosopher's Path.

Ginkaku-ji Temple
Often known as the Silver Pavilion, it's a Zen temple featuring unique sand and moss gardens. Its Togudo building is a National Treasure.

Nanzen-ji Temple
One of the most important Zen temples in Japan, featuring beautiful gardens and a large brick aqueduct running through its grounds.

Eikando Temple
Renowned for its stunning autumn colors and the Amida Hall with a statue of the Amida Buddha looking over its shoulder.

Heian Shrine
Known for its massive torii gate and beautiful garden. The Shrine is dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Kammu and Emperor Komei.

Other information about Philosopher's Path

Official site about Philosopher's Path :


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( Written by Tatsuo Ikura )