Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5

Search over 1 million properties and 550 airlines worldwide

Members save 10% more on select hotels, cars, activities and vacation rentals. Sign up.

Free cancellation on most hotels. Because flexibility matters.

Philosopher's Walk

This is a great walk to orient yourself around Kyōto. Stroll along a cherry tree-lined canal and visit shrines, temples, gardens and boutiques.

The Philosopher’s Walk in Kyōto gets its name from one of Japan’s most famous philosophy professors, Nishida Kitarō (1870-1945), who is said to have taken this walk as his daily meditation. The trail runs alongside a canal. It begins at the Temple of the Silver Pavilion, goes past Eikando Temple and several shrines and ends at Nanzenji Temple. The walk is particularly scenic in April, when the area comes alive with the profusion of blossoms on the hundreds of cherry trees.

The walk itself is only about 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) and takes roughly half an hour. It’s best to give yourself at least a few hours, however, so you can explore the sights along the way. The area is also full of restaurants where you can try katsu curry, in which the main meat ingredient is breadcrumbed, engage in a tea ceremony, and have kaiseki, a traditional multicourse dinner.

The canal, built during the Meiji Period (1868-1912), is crossed by picturesque bridges and surrounded by greenery. It begins a little way from the Temple of the Silver Pavilion, where you’ll find a moss garden, an unusual dry sand garden and temple buildings containing statues of the goddess of mercy. From here you will pass Honen-in Temple, Anrakuji Temple, and two shrines with beautiful gardens.

The path will also take you close to Eikando Temple, which is arranged at the base of a hill. Its buildings are connected by wooden walkways. In the fall, the temple is open later in the evenings and lit up so that the brilliant reds of the leaves in the gardens glow.

Nanzenji is the last temple on the Philosopher’s Walk. Entry to Nanzenji’s main temple grounds is free, but there is a fee to see inside some of the buildings. Make sure you climb to the top of the Sanmon gate for views over the city, and visit the head priest’s residence to see the Zen rock garden, and tiger paintings in gold leaf on the sliding doors.

The Philosopher’s Walk is in the Higashiyama district. Buses run from Eikando Temple back into central Kyōto.


Top Philosopher's Walk Flight + Hotel Deals

Best Lodging Options Near Philosopher's Walk

See all 3,293 Properties near Philosopher's Walk
Ace Hotel Kyoto NT$8,327
Ace Hotel Kyoto

Ace Hotel Kyoto

245-2 Aneyakojidori, Higashinotoin-nishiiru Kurumayacho, Kyoto, Kyoto
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto International Manga Museum and Nishiki Market. Kawaramachi and Nijō Castle are also within 15 minutes. Karasuma Oike Station is only a 2-minute walk and Karasuma Station is 10 minutes.

    Guest House Aoi Nakamoto NT$2,279
    Guest House Aoi Nakamoto

    Guest House Aoi Nakamoto

    26 Shishigatani Hounenin Nishimachi, Kyoto, Kyoto
       
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Sakyo Ward, this guesthouse is within a 15-minute walk of Philosopher's Walk and Kyoto University. Heian Shrine and Nanzenji Temple are also within 1 mi (2 km). Keage Station is 21 minutes by foot and Higashiyama Station is 28 minutes.

      Hotel Monterey Kyoto NT$2,481
      Hotel Monterey Kyoto

      Hotel Monterey Kyoto

      604 Manjuya-cho, Sanjo-sagaru, Kyoto, Kyoto
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Rokakkudo Temple and Nishiki Market. Kyoto International Manga Museum and Shijo Omiya are also within 10 minutes. Karasuma Oike Station is only a 4-minute walk and Karasuma Station is 6 minutes.

        Villa Honen-in Nishi NT$9,089
        Villa Honen-in Nishi

        Villa Honen-in Nishi

        20 Shishigatani Honenin Nishimachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Sakyo Ward, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Shinnyo-do Temple, Philosopher's Walk, and Honen-in Temple. Temple of the Silver Pavilion and Heian Shrine are also within 1 mi (2 km). Keage Station is 20 minutes by foot and Higashiyama Station is 28 minutes.

          Hostel Ginkakuji NT$3,970
          Hostel Ginkakuji

          Hostel Ginkakuji

          Jodoji 58-2, Nishida-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
             
            1.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Sakyo Ward, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto University and Philosopher's Walk. Heian Shrine and Nanzenji Temple are also within 2 mi (3 km). Mototanaka Station is 20 minutes by foot and Chayama Station is 21 minutes.

            RokuRoku - Hostel NT$2,134
            RokuRoku - Hostel

            RokuRoku - Hostel

            28-1 Nishi-teranomae, Kyoto, Kyoto
               
              1.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Sakyo Ward, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Philosopher's Walk and Nanzenji Temple. Kyoto University and Heian Shrine are also within 1 mi (2 km). Keage Station is 19 minutes by foot and Higashiyama Station is 26 minutes.

              Jishoan NT$6,700
              Jishoan

              Jishoan

              72-3 Jodoji Nishidacho, Kyoto, Kyoto
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Sakyo Ward, this vacation home is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto University and Philosopher's Walk. Heian Shrine and Nanzenji Temple are also within 2 mi (3 km). Mototanaka Station is 19 minutes by foot and Chayama Station is 19 minutes.

                Teppanyaki House
                Teppanyaki House

                Teppanyaki House

                20-5, Shishigatani Kamimiyanomaecho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Sakyo Ward, this vacation home is within a 10-minute walk of Eikando Temple, Nanzenji Temple, and Philosopher's Walk. Heian Shrine and Kyoto University are also within 1 mi (2 km). Keage Station is 17 minutes by foot and Higashiyama Station is 24 minutes.