Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Kyoto Travel—Philosopher's Path (Along the Old Canal)

The North-East Area of Kyoto includes the following famous temples:

The whole area (click the map to enlarge) can be visited by walk along the canal in about 50 mins.[1] This is a pleasant city stroll following the old canal, lined with cherry trees, between Ginkakuji Temple and Nanzenji Temple. Local scholars call the little alley flanking the canal "The Path of Philosophy".


  • Ginkakuji Temple (銀閣寺 Silver Pavilion) best of Japan
    • Is a Zen temple along Kyoto's eastern mountains (Higashiyama).
    • Consists of the Silver Pavilion, half a dozen other temple buildings, a beautiful moss garden and a unique dry sand garden.
      • Can be enjoyed by walking along a circular route around its grounds, from which the gardens and buildings can be viewed.
    • Admission: 500 yen
    • Hours:
      • 8:30 to 17:00 (03/01 to 11/30)
      • 9:00 to 16:30 (12/01 to 02/29)
  • Eikando Temple (永観堂) best of Japan
    • Is very famous for its autumn colors and the evening illuminations that take place in fall[3]
    • Eikando's most recognizable building is its Tahoto Pagoda, which is nestled in the trees on the hillside above the temple's other buildings.
      • Visitors can walk up to the pagoda, from where the rest of the temple grounds and the city of Kyoto can be seen.
      • The view from the pagoda is particularly attractive in autumn, when the maple trees of the temple grounds are changing colors.
    • Another attractive spot during the fall is the Hojo Pond, around which an attractive garden has been cultivated.
      • Autumn colors are usually best in the second half of November, when the temple is opened in the evening for special illuminations.
    • Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:00)
      • Special evening hours during autumn illuminations.
    • Admission: 600 yen (autumn daytime: 1000 yen, autumn nighttime: 600 yen)
  • Nanzenji Temple (南禅寺) outstanding
    • Whose spacious grounds are located at the base of Kyoto's forested Higashiyama mountains, is one of the most important Zen temples in all of Japan
    • Nanzenji's central temple grounds are open to the public free of charge, but separate fees apply for entering temple buildings and subtemples.
    • Hojo (former head priest's residence)
      • Is most famous for its rock garden whose rocks are said to resemble tigers and cubs crossing through water.
      • Also highly regarded are the paintings on fusuma (sliding doors), which include a more realistic depiction of tigers on gold leaf.
        • Visitors enter the Hojo building complex through the former temple kitchen (kuri), where they can also find a small tea room to their right with a view of a miniture waterfall.
      • Hours: 8:40 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from December to February)
        • Admission ends 20 minutes before closing time.
      • Admission: 500 yen
    • Nanzenin Temple
      • It includes a garden centered around a pond which becomes particularly attractive in autumn.
      • Hours: 8:40 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from December to February)
        • Admission ends 20 minutes before closing time.
      • Admission: 300 yens
    • Tenjuan Temple
      • is noteworthy for its two gardens, a rock garden and a pond garden, which are particularly attractive during autumn when they are illuminated in the evenings.
      • Admission: 400 yen (500 yen during the evening illumination)
      • Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:30 during winter)

Get There and Get Around

Ginkakuji can be accessed by direct bus number
  • 5 (Bus Stop A-1)
  • 17 (Bus Stop A-2)
  • 100 (Bus Stop D-1)
from Kyoto Station in about 35-40 minutes and for 230 yen one way.

Alternatively, you can reach Ginkakuji by foot along the Philosopher's Path from Nanzenji in about 30-45 minutes.

Photo Credit

  • ema-mino.com


  1. Kyoto Walks (JNTO)
  2. Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion)
  3. Japan: Best Autumn Color Spots near Kyoto (Travel for a Purpose)
  4. Jakuchu Revealed—300th Anniversary of Ito Jakuchu's Birth (Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art)
    • October 4 (Tuesday) -December 4 (Sunday)
    • 9 am - 5 pm
    • Admission: based on the exhibition
  5. JAKUCHU The Divine Colors NHK Documentary (video)
  6. Kyoto Station (Kyoto Transportation Guide)
  7. Taking a bus in Kyoto
  8. Public Transport in Kyoto (important)
  9. Kyoto Guide: Kyoto Buses
  10. Kawaramachi Sanjo ⇒ Ginkakuji Mae (Ginkakuji Temple)
  11. Sanjo Keihan Mae ⇒ Ginkakuji Mae (Ginkakuji Temple)
  12. Arukumachi kyoto route planner (bus and train)
  13. Shirakawa-in Garden (白河院庭園)
  14. Kyoto 14 day weather forecast, Japan 

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