Soul of the Garden

Images of Japan:

The Philosopher's Walk and Honen-in, Kyoto

The Philosopher's Walk, also called the Poet's Walk, is a lovely strolling path that runs north to south connecting many of the famous sights on the Eastern edge of Kyoto. For much of its distance, it borders an old canal and is lined with cherry trees, charming shops, cafes, and restaurants. It is among the must-see experiences of Kyoto, especially during the month of April when the cherries are in bloom. The Philosopher's Walk got its name from Japanese philosopher, Kitaro Nishida, used to walk the path to meditate. Nishida was a modern philosopher famous for trying to bridge the classic philosophies of the Western world with Zen. The Philosopher's Walk starts in the north at Ginkaku-ji and ends close to Nanzen-ji. An entire day could be spent strolling from one of these temples to the other and visiting the many smaller temples, gardens, and sights along the way ( including Eikando Zenrin-ji.)


Visitors in traditional clothes. Not an uncommon sight.


The canal and cherry blossoms.


A close-up of the cherries.


An artist at work, we purchased several post cards featuring his images of Kyoto.


An urn beside the path (filled with cherry petals.)


A peaceful strecth of the walk through a more residential neighborhood.


New leaves on a maple.


Another view of the canal.


The canal filled with fallen petals.


A stone pagoda or stupa at Honen-in, a charming temple just off of the Philosopher's Walk.


The thatch covered gate of Honen-in.

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