Philosopher’s Path

Lily Crossley-Baxter
a year ago
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A beautiful stroll along one of Kyoto’s quiet canalside paths, this route begins close to the Ginkakuji and ends close to Nanzenji. Lined with cherry blossom in spring, it is a stunning route but lovely the rest of the year too. Cafes and independent shops dot the 2km path, with temples and shrines offering tempting detours along the way. The canal was built in the Meiji period to improve the local economy and continues to do so for this small community. Local philosopher Kitaro Nishida would use the path as for meditation during his daily stroll to his University campus and the calming atmosphere makes it easy to see why, even today. As the founder of the Kyoto School of Philosophy, nishida knew a thing or two about meditation, and the opportunity to absorb the sounds of running water and the scent of trees was one he couldn’t miss. A professor during the Meiji era, he was a keen explorer of merging Western and Japanese culture, exploring the concept of a ‘being place’, called basho in Japanese. Depending on the season and your schedule, the path can be explored and followed for around two hours, but you can be speedier if you have no blossom photos to take, coffee to sip or temples to visit. If you do have the time, however, be sure to check out Honen-in and Eikando, especially in autumn. Otoyo Jinja is a fun mouse-based detour, while the final point of Nanzen-ji is home to rock gardens and great views.
  • Details
  • Shishigatani Honenin Nishimachi, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-8427, Japan
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    Physical 3
    Culture 3
    Fun 4
    Education 1
  • Tags
    Family friendly
    Hidden gem

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