The Path of Philosophy is easily one of the most attractive sights in Kyoto – a streamside path lined with blossoming trees and shrubs of every description.
Philosopher’s Path: Jay.Phuc Photography / Shutterstock.com
As far as we’re concerned, a lazy stroll along the Path of Philosophy (Tetsugaku-no-Michi in Japanese) is the single best way to spend an hour or two in Kyoto. Named for a Kyoto University professor who took his daily constitutional along this route, the path is aptly named indeed: the ever-changing vistas and the slowly flowing waters of the stream invite deep thoughts or, if you’re in a Zen frame of mind, no thoughts at all.
The Path of Philosophy starts about 100 meters north of Eikan-do Temple and reaches its northern terminus at the base of the approach to Ginkaku-ji temple. There are several cafes en route where you can stop for a cuppa, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for signs pointing off the path (following these will invariably bring you to wonderful little temples and shrines).
Be warned, because the Path of Philosophy is lined with cherry trees, it will be crammed with people during cherry blossom season. The simple solution? Walk the path just after sunset, when the crowds have gone home (the trees are illuminated for several hours after sunset and they’re magical after dark).
For more information on the Path of Philosophy, see our detailed Walking the Path of Philosophy page.
There are numerous places to stay located around the Path of Philosophy – visit Booking.com for more details.
Where Is This Place Located?See these places on our Kyoto Google map:
- Open the Kyoto map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
Near To Here:
The Path of Philosophy is located in Kyoto’s Northern Higashiyama district. See our complete list of things to do in Northern Higashiyama, including places to eat, nightlife and places to stay.
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- A prepaid Icoca card makes travelling around Kyoto easy – here's how
- Get travel insurance for Japan - World Nomads is well-regarded (and here's why)