Conveniently located in Kyoto, Tetsugaku no Michi, or the Philosopher’s Path, is an experience you will not want to miss. This path is located in the northern part of the Higashiyama district and two kilometer long path takes about thirty minutes to walk, but people usually spend more time here to admire the cherry blossoms that can only be seen for a short time each year.
Tetsugaku no Michi: The Philosopher’s Path
The path was named after Nishida Kitaro, a famous Japanese philosopher, who walked this path to meditate during his commute to Kyoto University in the twentieth century. Kitaro was one of Japan’s most famous philosophers and influenced many students, so a path named after him only seemed fitting to be titled the Philosopher’s Path. The stunning stone path starts around Ginkakuji, also known as the Silver Pavillion, and ends in the neighborhood of Nanzenji. There are more shrines along the path, such as Eikando, the Kumano Nyakuoji Shrine, Reikanji, the Anrakuji Temple, Otoyo Jinja, and Honen-in, to name some. It is also only a short walk from the Keage Subway Station, so it is easily accessible.
Photo Credit: Perry Li@flickr.com
During the cherry blossom season the path along Tetsugaku no Michi follows the canal and is lined with hundreds of trees that fill Tetsugaku no Michi with beautiful cherry blossoms. The canal, which is part of the Lake Biwa Canal, tunnels through the mountains to Lake Biwa in the Shiga Prefecture. Tetsugaku no Michi is something to admire as visitors can see cherry blossoms along with Tetsugaku no Michi’s beautiful brickwork. Cherry blossom petals, along with people, fill the walkways so if you are not into the crowds, going right after sunset is ideal. The lights along Tetsugaku no Michi along with the stores and restaurants that line the path will have enough illumination for you to still enjoy the Sakura in its full beauty.
Although the Tetsugaku no Michi path only takes thirty minutes to walk from one end to the other, many people take much longer than that as there are dozens of shrines, temples, and other sites to see that will lead you off the stone path. It takes many tourists, and locals who enjoy viewing the scenery, a few hours. Not only does Tetsugaku no Michi have shrines, but there are also stores, restaurants, food stands, and Kyoto University that line the path. There is so much to see and do but the greatest thing to do is to admire the cherry blossoms that are present from late March to early April.
Cherry blossom viewing, also known as Hanami, is a tradition in Japan that is observed by many inhabitants of the country as well as hundreds of tourists that flood the parks during the spring. The cherry blossoms at Tetsugaku no Michi is a sight you will definitely want to see once in your lifetime. the natural beauty of the Sakura that line along Tetsugaku no Michi is something that cannot be replicated.
Not only is the Tetsugaku no Michi a sight to behold during Hanami season; this is a popular spot during the autumn as the trees fill the space with many vibrant colors, as well as the summer when the fireflies illuminate the path during the cooler nights.
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Tetsugaku no Michi, Philosopher’s Path
Address: Tetsugaku-no-michi, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
Website: Kyoto City Official Travel Guide