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