Philosopher's Path Area Walk, Kyoto

Philosopher's Path Area Walk, Kyoto
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the iOS app "Kyoto Map and Walks" on iTunes App Store or the Android app "Kyoto Map and Walks" on Google Play. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Tetsugaku no Michi, or Philosopher's Walk, is a well-known route in Kyoto which starts at the famous Ginkaku-ji Temple and heads south to the Nanzen-ji Temple. It follows a stone path by a cherry-tree-lined canal that was once walked daily by Nishida Kitaro, a famous philosopher and professor at Kyoto University. The Philosopher's Walk passes by some major shrines and other places of interest of Kyoto making up this self-guided tour.

Philosopher's Path Area Walk Map

Guide Name: Philosopher's Path Area Walk
Guide Location: Japan » Kyoto (See other walking tours in Kyoto)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Author: emma
Ginkaku-ji Temple

1) Ginkaku-ji Temple (must see)

The Ginkaku-ji Temple or the Silver Pavilion Temple is managed by the Shokoku School of the Rinzai Sect of Zen Buddhism. It was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1994.

The Ginkaku-ji Temple was once the retirement home of Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the eighth Ashigaka Shogun. Construction began in 1460 but was stopped during the Onin war in Kyoto. The complex was completed in 1483 and Yoshimasa used it as his residence. He evolved the tea ceremony that became a Japanese tradition...   view more
Philosopher's Walk

2) Philosopher's Walk (must see)

The Philosopher’s Walk is a pedestrian path along the Kyoto canal. It is lined with cherry trees and is a popular place among locals and visitors during the cherry blossom season.

The Philosopher’s Walk gets its name because it was the path where two well known professors of philosophers, Ikutaro Nishida and Hajime Kawakami took their daily stroll. The path covers a distance of 2 kilometers and can be completed in half an hour. It is flanked by souvenir shops, tea shops, important...   view more
Honen-in Temple

3) Honen-in Temple

The Honen-in Temple was built to honor Honen, the founder of the Jodo Shu sect of Zen Buddhism. It is a quiet tranquil place of worship and an interesting stop along the Philosopher’s Walk in Kyoto.

The Buddhist priest Honen established the Jodo-Shu sect of Zen Buddhism in 1175. The site where he established the sect became the Chion-in Temple. Honen lived in a small thatched hut which later became the Honen in Temple. In 1207, he was banished by conventional Buddhist priests who did not...   view more
Anraku-ji Temple

4) Anraku-ji Temple

The Anraku-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple that is also the shrine of the martyrs Anraku and Oren. It has the last remaining octagonal pagoda that was a common feature in medieval Japan.

The Anraku-ji Temple was at first a training center established by the Buddhist priest Honen who established the Jodo shu sect of Zen Buddhism. Two of his disciples, Anraku and Oren persuaded two wives of the then emperor to become nuns. The infuriated emperor ordered the execution of Anraku and Oren and the...   view more
Otoyo Shrine

5) Otoyo Shrine

The Otoyo Shrine is one of the historic buildings located along the Philosopher’s Walk in Kyoto. It is dedicated to the gods that guard the Shishigatani and Nanzen-ji Temple.

The Otoyo Shrine was built in 887 to pray to the gods for a cure for a strange illness suffered by the then Emperor Uda. Local people come here to pray for good health, cures for specific illnesses, good fortune, long life and for assistance with matchmaking. In 1954, the City of Kyoto listed the shrine as a Place of...   view more
Sen-oku Hakuko Kan

6) Sen-oku Hakuko Kan

The Sen-oku Hakuko Kan is a museum in Kyoto displaying objects collected by the Sumitomo family. The collection consists of objects from the Edo period to the present.

The Sen-oku Hakuko Kan Museum’s main building is in Kyoto. It was built in 1960 in a quiet residential area of the city called Shishigatani. The location commands spectacular views of the Higashiyama mountain range. At first, the rare and extensive bronze collection was displayed in the main building. In 1986, an annex was...   view more
Eikan-do Zenrin-ji

7) Eikan-do Zenrin-ji (must see)

Eikan-do Zenrin-ji is a Buddhist temple managed by the Seizan branch of the Jodo Shu sect of Zen Buddhism. It is the most famous spot for viewing the changing colors of autumn leaves in Kyoto.

The Eikan-do Zenrin-ji was established by Shinsho a disciple of Kukai, the founder of the Shingon school of Buddhism. He purchased a mansion belonging to a nobleman named Fujiwara no Sekio and converted it into a temple dedicated to the Gochi Nyōrai or Five Wisdom Buddhas. Initially it was dedicated...   view more
Nanzen-ji Temple

8) Nanzen-ji Temple (must see)

The Nanzen –ji Temple is the most important temple of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. The original structures were destroyed by fires and wars and the present complex dates back to the 17th century.

The Nanzen-ji temple was constructed initially as the retirement palace of Emperor Kameyama in 1264 AD. When he died, it became a temple in 1291. The grounds of the temple are open to the public for free but a fee is charged for entering the main temple and the many sub temples within the...   view more


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