Philosopher's Path in Kyoto during cherry tree blooming in spring

Philosopher's Path

Kyoto's Zen Walk

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The Philosopher’s Path is a walkway in the north-east of Kyoto. Running parallel to a waterway, it puts Ginkaku-ji and Eikan-do Zenrin-ji temples within a walking distance. This walk is very touristic, especially in spring during the cherry blossoms season, and owes its name to Kitaro Nishida, a Japanese Zen philosopher who enjoyed meditative strolls there.

A touristic landmark of the northeast of Kyoto, the Philosopher's Path sees hordes of travelers walk its trail every year. Visits peak during cherry blossoms, at the beginning of spring, since the canal which borders the path is lined with hundreds of sakura 🌸 trees.

The name of the walk dates back to the early twentieth century. The famous Zen philosopher Nishida Kitaro (1870 - 1945) walked it during his daily meditation to reach Kyoto University, where he founded the philosophical school.

It is customary to say that this two-kilometer path joins Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion) and Eikan-do Zenrin-ji temples, but other points of interest are accessible like Nanzen-ji, Honen-in temple or Mt. Daimon-ji.

Many visitors take the opportunity to visit them, alternating with small shops and cafes along the walk.

To avoid the crowds, we suggest you visit the Philosopher's Path in the early morning. You will also enjoy an even more Zen atmosphere.

⬇️ Further down this page, discover our visit guide in Philosopher's Path and around.
By Kanpai Updated on January 12, 2024 Chemin de la philosophie