Philosopher’s Path

Description: 

Known as the the path of philosophy, also called Tetsugaku no Michi, what you can get at Philosopher’s path is not a trail of any sage or priest but an endless lines of cherry blossom princesses reflecting in a calm flow. Maybe it is true to say that, philosophy is the original point of beauty. Philosopher’s Path is just a narrow trail of about 2 kilometers leaving Nanzenji temple to come to the Silver Pavilion Ginkakuji in the eastern part of Kyoto Prefecture. Even though the path just runs a short journey, it gets the perfect partner of a beautiful canal Shishigatani which brings water in from the largest lake of Japan, Lake Biwa in Shiga prefecture.

philosophy_path_welcomekansai

Source: Tetsugaku no Michi

The color of philosophy dyes the story about the history of Philosopher’s Path. The story began in about Meiji period when literati started to gather here in Kyoto and Kyoto University was born. The path was named after faculty member of Kyoto University Kitaro Nishida as the representing face of Japan’s philosophers. It used to be a popular scene that Kitaro strolled slowly along the path and stay deeply in their own thought. Little by little over days, locals started to call it the walkway of philosopher. In 1972, the path officially received its name as Philosopher’s Path.

philosophy_path_welcomekansai

Source: Tetsugaku no Michi

Skirting the canal, almost all establishments are private houses. Dotting among them, you can catch some shops, restaurantscraft stores or small galleries. Just drop in one of them to take some local ginger cookies. There is also a religious atmosphere surrounding the path as the area is location of not only Silver Pavilion Ginkakuji, Nanzenji temple but also Eikando temple, Reikanji temple, Kumano Nyakuoji shrine, Anrakuji Temple, Otoyo Jinja and Honen-in.  People may come here around the area to visit temples and shrines but they may only wander along Philosopher’s Path to enjoy the unique tranquil atmosphere that these religious sites brings to.

Source: Tetsugaku no Michi

In each season, Philosopher’s Path all creates a unique magic for Kyoto people. Spring is the most ideal time to visit the path as hundreds cherry trees set their hair free over the canal. It is an impressive length that you need to take about 30 minute to complete the trip. Visitors enjoy to have a stroll on the paved road with sunshine flower dancing with cherry shadow under steps and feel heart melting to looking down the water made by cherry petals. The collection of plants around the path also includes of daffodils, plum, peach, spiraea, rhododendron, hydrangea, furong, maples and camellia. Before the season sleeps in red autumn leaves, fireflies gather here at summer nights, illuminating the path and canal by their little mysterial blips. Beside fireflyPhilosopher’s Path also welcomes butterfly, cicada, kingfisher, nightingale, woodpecker, deer and boar on land and duck, carp, heron on water.

 
Open time: 

All day

Admission: 

Freely access

How to access: 
-Take bus from Kyoto Station on the Tokaido Shinkansen and get off at Ginkakuji-Mae
-Take a 5 minute walk from the Keage subway station on Tozai Line.