Walking Japan: The Romantic “Philosopher’s Path” in Kyoto (+stray cat sightings!)

After a memorable lunch at 58 Diner burger bar, I continued my path onto the famous Philosopher’s Path (Tetsugakuno Michi, in Japanese). The Path is a canal-side walkway with occasional benches, and trees, including cherry blossom.

It is very close to the Silver Pavillion (aka. Ginkakuji, aka. Jishoji), so most people do both the Pavillion and the Path on the same day, like I did. I will make another posting about the Silver Pavillion.

There is a nice explanation about the Philosopher’s Path on the walkway, but it’s all in Japanese so I was none the wiser.20170316_131758 철학의 길 안내문.jpg

This colorful house had the only sakura tree that was blooming in mid-March. I took a selfie with this tree, making sure that I stayed on the bridge to keep out of the house’s private property. As I was done taking my selfie, the resident happened to be be coming back to the house with some eggs that he had bought. He gave me a very kind smile, which surprised me. I’m sure he has tourists loitering about his house all the time.20170316_131347.jpg

Mid-March is an off-season time to go. The sakura have not bloomed and lots of trees are still missing their leaves. Still, I saw a good number of tourists like myself. I can imagine this Path can get super crowded during the peak season. I wonder how the residents feel about all that…

I would also love to have this canal-path in my neighborhood, but not all of us can be so lucky.20170316_131041 동네 한 복판 canal 철학의 거리.jpg

It is peaceful and romantic. I don’t necessarily mean romantic as in, “you must bring your boy/girlfriend here!”. It was more like, you could walk alone, and enjoy some romance with all the nature and the beauty around you. However, this may not be the greatest place to have deep thoughts and mull over life, as the name “Philosopher’s Path” suggests; it was definitely a tourist spot.

To my surprise, it wasn’t a hike path of its own, but a quiet path in the middle of a residential housing area, with many of the houses along the Path converted into souvenir or dessert shops. There was even a pottery place where you can take an instructed class, and they will ship your finished pottery to your home. I also came across two street artists that enhanced the Path with tranquil cello music or beautiful watercolor paintings. It was a highly enjoyable experience, but it was just a bit different from what I was expecting.

A cellist busking at a bench, and an old artist selling his paintings. Travelers weaving in and out. Can you imagine it in your head? What would it be like if I lived in this mint-green house, and it was all part of my daily life?20170316_131913.jpg

Fresh air20170316_132129.jpg

At one point in the path, there were 7 or so stray cats enjoying the day. They were hanging out by the staircase that leads down to a bigger residential area. 20170316_132316.jpg

This cat wouldn’t leave the garbage can!20170316_132332.jpg

Public announcement for tourists. There was nothing to say you shouldn’t touch the cats. I saw many tourists petting them and taking pictures with them.20170316_132411.jpg

Yo, this is the back garden of someone’s house!!!!! It was so zen and well-decorated. The house was a bit below the hill, so I got to spy a bit of it from above. Screw the Philosopher’s Path, can I sit and think here?!20170316_132434 whose garden is this! Goddamn.jpg

Ah, but I should be grateful for what I can get, and not envy someone else’s property. I tore my eyes off the immaculate, private garden, and continued on the Path. 20170316_132742.jpg

I had believed that there wouldn’t be any cafes or shops on the Philosopher’s Path, so I had bought dessert earlier from a Lawson konbini. How foolish I was.

Sitting on a bench on the and enjoying my matcha dessert cup.

20170316_135108 밑에는 쌉싸릉한 마차 젤라틴으로 굳른 크림.jpg 20170316_135251.jpg

You can request a rickshaw man to cover some of the Path, as I saw in this instance.  Near the top of the photo, the rickshaw man in blue is carrying two customers over a bridge.20170316_135705

Thankfully,  I found a translated map as I was walking. There are also some signs along the Path that tells you which direction some main attractions are, like the Silver Pavillion.20170316_134135.jpg

After spending an hour walking back and forth the Path, I headed towards the most calming place I had ever visited in my life, the Ginkakuji (aka. Jishoji aka. Silver Pavillion).

More shops and food on the street to Ginkakuji. 20170316_140606.jpg


2 thoughts on “Walking Japan: The Romantic “Philosopher’s Path” in Kyoto (+stray cat sightings!)

  1. Pingback: Eating Japan: 58 Diner in Kyoto | Travel and Food Blog

  2. Pingback: Walking Japan: The Wonderous Ginkakuji (aka. Silver Pavillion, aka. Jishoji) | Travel and Food Blog

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