Philosopher's Path Area Walk, Kyoto

Philosopher's Path Area Walk, Kyoto

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.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. 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. Watch the video below to learn more about how the app works.

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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

Walking Tours in Kyoto, Japan

Create Your Own Walk in Kyoto

Create Your Own Walk in Kyoto

Creating your own self-guided walk in Kyoto is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Ukyo-ku Walking Tour

Ukyo-ku Walking Tour

Ukyo-ku is one of the eleven wards of Kyoto and it comprises the northwestern corner of the city. This area contains a large number of important religious complexes, some of them listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The most famous attractions of Ukyo-ku in Kyoto are selected and described in the next walking tour. So check it out and enjoy your Kyoto adventure.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.7 km
Kyoto Museums Walking Tour

Kyoto Museums Walking Tour

Even though Kyoto is famous for its wide variety of religious sites, this city is the home of several museums as well. The majority of them are dedicated to Japanese culture, ranging from history to fashion and the arts. A large number of Kyoto's museums are located in its eastern areas, where the next self-guided tour is about to take you. Check it out and prepare to get an insight into the culture of one of the most powerful and refined nations of the world.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km
Walking Tour in Shimogyo Ward

Walking Tour in Shimogyo Ward

The ancient capital Kyoto embraces several aspects of Japanese culture, being packed with shrines, temples, museums and other interesting spots. Each ward of this city boasts its own cultural heritage, as does the Shimogyo area, located right in the heart of Kyoto. Discover Shimogyo's most popular attractions in the next self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 km
Central Kyoto Walking Tour

Central Kyoto Walking Tour

They say visiting Japan without seeing Kyoto is worthless, because a visit to Japan will never be complete without knowing Kyoto's treasures. A city of tradition, history, and culture, Kyoto has plenty of touristic spots to offer. The next walking tour takes you to the core of Kyoto and the main attractions of the city that are located in its central area. Enjoy!

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.4 km
Kita-ku Temples and Shrines Tour

Kita-ku Temples and Shrines Tour

Kita-ku is one of Kyoto's wards, located in the northern part of the city. Kita Ward contains some spectacular religious sites, such as the famous Golden Pavilion and the ancient Daitoku-ji Temple, as well as a museum dedicated to world peace. Find them all selected and described in the next self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.6 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

It would be a pity to leave Kyoto without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Kyoto, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.9 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

18 Japanese Products To Bring Home from Kyoto

18 Japanese Products To Bring Home from Kyoto

The old capital of Japan, the city of Kyoto has once again been the talk of the world lately, thanks to the bestselling "Memoirs of a Geisha" book and the namesake Hollywood blockbuster movie. Renowned for its impeccable craftsmanship, Japan has so much to amaze a foreign eye with. Many of...