Saturday, April 6, 2013

Feeling groovy on the Philosopher's Path with cherry blossoms

“Tetsugaku no michi”, or the Philosopher's Path, is a walkway which stretches along the Biwako Canal between Nanzenji Temple and Ginkakujin Temple at the northern part of Kyoto’s Higashiyama district. The path got its name due to a prominent philosopher and Kyoto University professor, Kitaro Nishida (1870-1945), who practiced meditation while walking this route on his daily commute to Kyoto University.

halfway of the path

The canal is lined with numerous cherry trees.   It is part of the Lake Biwa Canal which tunnels 20 kilometers through the mountains from Lake Biwa.  The canal was built during the Meiji Period (1868-1912) in order to revitalize the stagnant local economy and was used to power Japan’s first hydroelectric power plant for industrial use.

The canal runs through the nice and quiet residential area.

"Let the morning time drop all its petals on me......♪ "
(From The 59th Street Bridge Song by Simon and Garfunkel)

All the blooms and occasional flurries of falling petals make you slow down and feel groovy.

The Philosopher’s Path is only about 30 minutes' walk, but it will take a while when you branch off and visit some of the nearby temples and shrines.  Restaurants, cafes, and boutiques can be found along the path, too.

Walking the Philosopher's Path is a chance to bask in beautiful nature and feel the slower pulse of the city. 

I like walking. It doesn’t need special requirements.  You only bring yourself outside with walking shoes on and start the first step.  

Walking is not only for body but also for soul and mind.  It is to rejuvenate the mind and body through reflecting or meditating while being immersed in nature.

the northern end of the Philosopher's Path near Ginkaku-ji Temple

During the cherry blossom season, the Philosopher's Path is bustling with tourists.  It would not seem to be a good meditation ground during that time, but the blossoms including falling or fallen petals are heavenly beautiful and you’ll feel happy to share the place with many people.


  1. U Was teraz wygląda jak w raju. Miejsce, gdzie zabrałaś nas na spacer jest cudowne. Mogłabym tam długo spacerować. Zdjecia cudowne, a z Panią w kimono bardzo wymowne. Pozdrawiam serdecznie.
    In you now looks like paradise. A place where you took us on a walk is wonderful. I could walk there long. Photos wonderful lady in kimono and with a very eloquent. Yours sincerely.

  2. The next best thing to being there: reading a photo-blog post by Stardust. Congratulations on becoming a grandmother.

  3. Congratulations to you all - a baby girl - how wonderful - a little playmate for her sister eventually.
    The blossom in your photos is such a tonic to see, ours has yet to arrive. This time last year it was all out, but spring is holding back for us.

  4. A gorgeous route to walk this time of year. I would love to smell the beautiful aroma of the blossoms.

  5. こんばんは。哲学の道を歩いて身も心もリフレッシュですか。素敵です。桜も美しいですが、写っている女性の着物姿の美しさに花も恥じらう様です。

  6. Gorgeous pictures !
    Have a nice weekend.

  7. Mazal tov! Conratulations on the new baby - your granddaughter! May she, the mother, father, little sister, and your family be blessed with health and infinitive joy!

    Thank your for those wonderful photos Yoko! I agree with you on every word you said about walking in nature, which is always so calming and makes us feel relaxed. It is still hard for me to do, only short walks are possible, but I hopefully will get there again. To have good and sturdy legs and feet should be much appreciated and not taken for granted!
    I am wishing you a weekend full of happiness! :-)

  8. Aaaa my dear Yoko, congratulations!!! I wish the best!!!
    I'm very glad!!!
    Ypur photos are amazing and the place is paradise!!! Lovely!!!
    I send you a big hug and many kisses

  9. How beautiful and congrats to your new baby. :)

  10. How utterly, incredibly beautiful! The petals on the water, the reflections and all those blossoms.

  11. º° ❤♫°

    Imagens de incrível beleza e doçura.
    As árvores floridas, os reflexos,
    as pétalas caídas sobre a água e o delicioso perfume no ar.
    Bom fim de semana!

    °º♡ Beijinhos do Brasil
    º° ♡ ❤♫° ·

  12. The petals in the water are so serene and lovely. This is such a joyful post, stardust! It reflects your happiness at having a healthy new blossom of a granddaughter in your life. Congratulations to you all! It would be a better world if more time were spent pondering existence while walking in nature. Perhaps we would be far gentler with the only planet we have to call home.

  13. beautiful heavenly wonderful ....and i run out of adjectives..if seeing the pics gives me so much peace and happiness ..i can imagine being there would be much more heavenly feeling

    congrats on the new baby :)

  14. Wonderful news Yoko,I'm so glad to hear all is well! Just popping in to see you.....I've been away from blogging for a while,looking after a sick relative.

    I'll come back to you in a couple of days when I have time to read previous posts.I see I've missed all of March!

  15. Yokoさん こんにちは
     (=゚∇゚) 桜をこれほどまでに綺麗に見せて頂けて感激です。 
     女性の和服姿 d(゚-^*) so nice♪

  16. What a beautiful walk. Cherry blossoms are one of my favourite things.I like walking but only in a beautiful setting. This walk is perfect for me. Congratulations to your daughter and to you :-) Have a great weekend.

  17. What stunning photos - I can only imagine what it must be like to actually walk there. I, too love walking, especially in nature. Enjoy your new grand-daughter. What delightful news!

  18. I assume the "feeling groovy" in the title is a reference to Simon & Garfunkel's "50th Street Bridge Song", no?

    1. You’re right, Marc. I’m glad with your attention on that expression. “Slow down, you move too fast/ You got to make the morning last/............, feeling groovy”

  19. Hi! いつもながら、このあたりの雰囲気がよく伝わってきます。いつもは静かな路もとても華やかに賑わっているようですね。でも、しっとりとした落ち着きは変わりなく、観ていてもこころ穏やかになります。

  20. 春のふんわりした雰囲気がよくでてると思います。疎水の花筏も風情があります。私もこの間京都で桜を撮ってきましたが、しだれ桜の多さに気がつきました。

  21. I would simply love to walk the philosopher's path. It's beautiful

    Congratulations with your little granddaughter. She is probably the most beautiful little baby in the world.

    Grethe `)

  22. congratulations on your new granddaughter! wonderful!

    love these views, too. 'feeling groovy' is a great description. :)

  23. 日本の桜という言葉がぴったりの風景ですね。満開の桜を愛でる人たちも幸せそう!舞い散る花びらも水に浮かぶ花びらも美しい。やはり桜に合う装いは着物が一番なのかもしれませんね。

  24. Maravilhosas imagens.
    Parece um paraiso.

    Um abraço.

  25. Hi groovy Yoko,

    congrats to you, your daughter and the whole family for the new little baby!

    And congrats to this breathtaking post, Yoko! I really envy you about your wonderful springtime and the bloom of your cherry trees. For every lover of nature this is really an outstanding event and I wish I could stand next to you to take my own photos of this flowering dream.

    Thanks a lot for sharing your impressions with us!

    Have a great week, I have to travel to Hannover Messe / trade show for Industry now!


  26. Amazing how different our lives and "worlds" are. I love søø your flowers and colors. I low my white and blue also. Would you like to join our Blogger's Sunday Walk next time? You can read about it in my blogpost today.

  27. Dear Yoko,
    The canal itself is a meditation! Surrounded by such blissful beauty I can't imagine being otherwise but peaceful and meditative. It would almost be a sin to walk among a scenery like this and still be preoccupied with small things and daily problems in our minds.
    Congratulations for your new grand daughter! I guess soon Fu-u will have someone just as full of energy and restlessness as her to play with. :) May they both grow strong and healthy and you all have good days ahead.

    I'm happy to enjoy your beautiful spring, thank you! As usually, the pictures show how warm and tender-hearted is the person behind the camera. You.
    In here it's still wet and grey, and after a short but strong comeback of winter we now face flooding around the country. Thankfully no one got hurt and it appears rain free days had been announced starting this Thursday.

    My best of wishes and have a beautiful spring, Yoko!

  28. What magnificent and spectacular shots.

    Congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter.

  29. Dear Yoko,

    Your posts so often leave me gasping for breath and searching desperately for superlatives grand enough to do justice to your photographic art. What glorious pictures of a glorious area!

    The colors are stunning and I imagine these blossoms fill the air with scented light and promises of love and happiness.

    The photographer was a nice touch, and the young women are perfectly wonderful. And I want to congratulate your daughter-in-law and all of your family on the birth of a beautiful baby girl.

    Your comments on my meager attempts at poetry and very much appreciated!

    I wish you peace, health and joy!

    [Lois is home. Surgery went well. She's recovering slowly. We still have not seen the pathology report which is worrisome but we believe it will be negative. On Thursday we return to the hospital and should know more then. Thank you for caring!]

  30. こんにちわ。



  31. おめでとうございます。お孫さんもお母様もお元気で何よりです。

    1. ありがとうございます。Sapphireさんのブログは興味ある情報が満載で勉強させていただいております。お写真を眺めるのも楽しいですし、確かめたいこと、知りたいことがあれば時々おじゃましています。

  32. Congratulations on your granddaughter! (^0^)♫・*:.。.。.:*・

    I came to check if Kansai is really behind Kanto, and I'm so glad I did! I'm arriving a few days after you posted your photos, so perhaps your cherry blossoms have said goodbye in the meantime?

    I loved going on a virtual walk with you. I've walked along the Philosopher's Path several times, but only in summer and autumn. I really should visit Kyoto in spring, too.

    "Walking is not only for body but also for soul and mind." YES! I agree totally absolutely and 101%! :)

  33. 花吹雪に花筏、春爛漫のひと時をゆったりと歩く・・・至福の時ですね。豊かな、優しい気持ちになれました。ありがとう。

  34. My sincere apologies for being so late here as I was spending less time on computer, but finally! And I am so happy to hear the good news. Congratulations! Sending across lots of love for the lil bundle of joy and best of wishes for the entire family.

    Seeing your post, it is easy to understand why the path is called the philosophers path or why it makes you feel groovy. This place is heaven, isn't it? or perhaps very close. Your pictures are stunning, your beautiful post took me there. Thanks for taking along, Yoko. :)

  35. Hi !
    There is an award for you on my blog !
    Have a nice weekend.

  36. I'm glad for your new grand-daughter Yoko!
    the Philosopher's Path in cherry blossom season through your lens is just mesmerizing! :-)

  37. This is a special place and so beautiful.Perfect to capture your lovely reflections on water.The blossoms shown in this and previous posts are quite spectacular.I love the magnolias!Here March has been cold and blossom will be at least two weeks late this year.

    Happy weekend Yoko!

  38. Oh, what a sweet news! Congratulations, dear Yoko! I wish you and your girls health. Hope to see both of granddaughters here some day.
    Many thanks for the walk along the Philosopher's Path, I've enjoyed basking in tremendous nature. And I've got a question. Is it worth coming to Japan in January? No way to visit it in spring or autumn during my academic year. What would you recommend? Thank you, hope to hear from you,

  39. ♪✿
    º° ✿✿♪

    Bom fim de semana!
    Beijinhos do Brasil



Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I will visit your blog shortly. Have a nice day!