Philosopher's Walk

Philosopher's Walk, Kyoto: Address, Phone Number, Philosopher's Walk Reviews: 4/5

Philosopher's Walk
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This scenic path follows cherry-tree lined canal and is named after a Kyoto University philosopher, Kitaro Nishida, who used it for his daily walk.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

3,190 reviews
Very good

Horsham, UK1,938 contributions
Sep 2019
Title kind of says it all to be honest.

Easy to find, free, suitable for strollers, wheelchairs & prams, no steps or inclines involved, Cherry-tree lined, quiet and peaceful.

Philosophers hidden secrets were not discovered & my 'Ying & Yang' stayed right where they belong.

There were a couple of artists painting and drawing, and even more taking selfies etc.

In Cherry Blossom Season it must be very special. I late Sept/Oct - very pleasant
Written July 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Harald Gracholski
Cologne, Germany6,816 contributions
Dec 2019
Of course Kyoto is known for its Temples and shrines and rightfully so, but it is the philosopher's walk we took, that has stuck with me the most, even after a whole year has passed. We visited the location in the late fall of 2019, when the weather was still pleasant, but the trees already wearing their leaves in green, yellow and red shades. We walked along the canal, simply enjoying the cal suburban atmosphere and sucking in every moment of this walks simple beauty. It is one of my favourite walks anywhere in the world and really hope to undertake it again some time in the future.
Written November 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Leamington Spa, UK1,005 contributions
Feb 2020
We visited at the wrong time of year, and it is probably very beautiful in cherry blossom season. What we experienced was a very quiet path alongside little homes and shops and a small but very plain stream. A nice way to spend an hour or two soaking up quiet Japan, or at least in February.
Written March 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Cesena, Italy1,210 contributions
Jul 2019 • Friends
Beautiful and long tree-lined promenade, along the way you can meet craft shops and some very interesting cafes
Definitely worth doing it
Written August 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sydney, Australia227 contributions
May 2018 • Couples
I’m not normally bah humbug about too many things when I’m travelling but tourist traps do bug me a little.

The Philosopher’s Walk may have been a low key walk to contemplate the beauty of nature once upon a time, but certainly Golden Week is not one of those times!

The paths were swarming with tourists from all over Japan & the world. The trees were beautiful & the streets lining the canal picturesque, but there was no space for quiet reflection or a meandering ramble. Everyone had to keep moving as there were always more people coming in.

All the temples & shrines along the way we’re busy with lines. The Japanese manage this very well. There were orderly queues & respectful turn taking to get photos. Not-one was unruly or disruptive. But all the shops, cafes & restaurants were expensive - $8 for a small coffee seemed to be the standard rate. No wonder the locals all brought their own thermos’!

It was beautiful & I’m glad I experienced the walk & saw the many shrines & gardens - it has to be part of your trip to Kyoto, but be prepared for the crowds (esp near the Ginkakuji Temple end) & the expensive food.
Written May 4, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore6,359 contributions
Oct 2017 • Couples
Among the many attractions in Kyoto that deserved more exploration is the area around Ginkaku-ji Temple. At the rear of Ginkaku-ji Temple is the Daimonjiyama. I hiked up the mountain and enjoyed a spectacular panoramic view of Kyoto city. There is also this philosopher's walk which stretches for 2 km from Nanzenji Temple to Ginkakuji Temple.

I came here early in the morning strolled along the stone path beside a canal. The canal seem more look like a drain in Singapore. No cherry blossom season as I was there in October. The foliage was just plain green and I could see the monotonous dullness when I compared with the photos taken in April with the full blossom of the cherry trees. The best time to visit definitely is in the month of April. But then it would be really crowded with people and you would not be able to enjoy the rustic peace and solitary calmness associated with this path. At this early cool morning when vehicular and human traffic were at the lowest, it was relaxing and meditative to slowly stroll along this path in deep thoughts getting rid of the worries and anxieties.

Most people relieved their stress and tensions differently. I personally like to engage in a meditative stroll around my house after a hard day work. It is rejuvenating and has therapeutic effect. But this philosopher's walk was supposed to be thought provoking. I think of the great Greek philosophers like Socrates and Plato and the idea of democracy and the different political models of Athens and Sparta. I think of Marx and Engels and the radical dialectical materialism theory associated with the class struggle. I think of Zen Buddhism and the profound theory of cause and effect. I think of how oriental philosophical thinking is influenced by Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism; how the yin and yang theory dominated the traditional Chinese medicine practices.

I was really engrossed in deep thoughts when suddenly my wife alerted me that we had arrived at Ginkakuji. I simply like this atmosphere around this Ginkaku-ji and the Philosopher's Walk, thought provoking, calm, peaceful, sedative and meditative.

This is the place where you should not rush but to slowly appreciate every moment here with nature like sipping a cup of coffee slowly and not in one gulp.
Written January 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Stockton, CA1,014 contributions
Mar 2017 • Friends
We did this walk at the recommendation of our hostel staff and other sources such as Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor. Had the blossoms been going in full bloom, it would have truly been magical. However, we saw it pre-Sakura and it was just a nice walk through a quiet neighborhood. The trick is to find beauty in every season, which is what we did and enjoyed our thoughtful stroll through this charming area. Worth the effort, but if you can't make it, don't feel like you've missed the heart and soul of Kyoto.
Written March 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brian O
Vancouver, Canada131 contributions
Jun 2015 • Couples
Although I agree with most reviews on TripAdvisor that the Philosopher's Walk is a nice but not extraordinary walking path, it does become magical at certain times.

We went there in one evening in early June, and after it gets dark (about 8pm), there were fireflies along the banks of the canal. Seeing fireflies is quite a Japanese experience, as I talked to my Japanese host about the hotarus, she says she would definitely want to bring her kids to see the fireflies.

Fireflies often appear on woodlands with slow moving streams, and the Philosopher's Walk is somewhat ideal for them. I recommend seeing the fireflies at the southern part of the path, which has a well lit path on one side, and woodlands on the other - ideal for spotting the fireflies with safety in mind.
Written June 11, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jakarta, Indonesia9,912 contributions
Nov 2014 • Solo
Turning right after leaving Eikando temple, you will find direction to Tetsugaku No Michi (Path of Philosophy) and follow an ascending road with pleasant countryside houses until you arrive at an opening, turn left and see the long canals and the path of philosophy.
The canal is connecting the aqueduct of Nanzenji to Ginkakuji flowing water from Lake Biwa. The water flows gently, you can see black fish swimming along the path. In spring, the sakura blossoms along the path. In autumn, you can see autumn colors.
There are pleasant houses, shops, cafes and painters selling hand made postcards along the way to Ginkakuji. You may want to visit a quieter Honen in Temple before reaching Ginkakuji.

On the right side you can see Kyoto city view.

This path is a pleasant walk for a slow pace.
Written December 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Reading, UK64 contributions
Apr 2014 • Couples
My husband and I visited Kyoto in April 2014. We took the local bus. It was incredibly crowded as many people want to walk the Philosophers Walk when the cherry blossom is out. It was also quite a long journey but people were helpful and helped us to get off at the right stop. It was a glorious day. We thoroughly enjoyed our walk up to the Silver Temple and spent ages looking at all the pretty little shops on the way up there. The Silver Temple garden is beautiful. We didn’t stay there long as we were mindful of the fact we hadn’t even started the Philosopher’s Walk. The cherry trees were in full blossom and as the warm breeze blew flurries of blossom like silent white ‘snow’ fell and dusted our path. It was beautiful and probably one of my favourite moments of our trip to Japan. I also enjoyed people watching and was amused to see a pampered small dog in jeans and tee shirt out for its walk with its owner. There was also a kind lady combing the scruffy feral cats that live in the woods bordering it.
Written September 21, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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