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Walk Kyoto's most scenic path and ponder life

Called Tetsugaku no Michi in Japanese, Philosopher's Path was named for Kyoto University philosophy professor Nishida Kitaro, who walked this route as a daily meditation. A meandering path in a rural neighborhood overlooking a canal, it's the perfect place for a contemplative afternoon stroll.

Quick Facts

The canal is part of a larger one used to power Japan's first hydroelectric power plant

Fireflies sometimes appear on hot summer evenings

How to Get There

The Philosopher's Path is accessible by train, followed by bus.

From Kyoto Station , take the Karasuma Line to Marutamachi Station. Walk about two minutes to the Karasuma Marutamachi bus stop. Take bus 204 or 93 to the Kinrinshakomae Bus Stop, and walk about five minutes to the path.

Explore nearby temples and cafes

The path begins about 100 meters north of Eikando in northern Higashiyama and stretches north, finishing at Ginkakuji Temple . Quaint cafes and restaurants line the path if you need a break. If you walk steadily, it will only take you about 30 minutes to complete the walk, but most people make it a contemplative stroll.

Don't hesitate to veer off the path to explore the many temples and shrines that surround it, including Otoyo Shrine, Honenin, Zenrinji, and Eikando .

The path is filled when the blossoms open up

The path is lined with cherry trees, so it is crowded during the hanami season. However, the area empties by sunset and you can enjoy the trees and your walk in peace.

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