The Philosopher’s Walk

1.5km amazing cherry blossom street.

Text:Kaniwa Hioki

The Philosopher’s Walk which is located at the bottom of Higashiyama is a pedestrian path lasting 1.5 km from the approach of Ginkaku-ji Temple to the place right next to Kumano-nyakuoji-jinja Shrine. A lot of tourists visit here in this sakura season, and they are obsessed with a beauty of cherry blossom trees on both sides by listening a murmur of Biwakososui River.

It used to be called ‘Writers’ Walk’ since a number of writers lived around there in Meiji era. After that, philosophers such as Kitaro Nishida and Hajime Tanabe was walking around here by thinking and people started calling here as ’The Philospher’s Little Alley’ and it became ’The Philosopher’s Walk’. Now, it is chosen as ‘The 100 best roads in Japan’ and loved by everyone from all over the world.

Actually, there is a small episode why The Philospher’s Walk became a well-known place for cherry blossoms. A Japanese painter whose name is Kansetsu Hashimoto, who succeeded in Meiji to Showa era, used to live in Hakusa-sonsou which was located next to the approach of Ginkaku-ji Temple. His wife, Yone proposed to donate 360 cherry blossom trees to show Kansetsu’s gratitude for being famous as a painter in Taisho era and now it became a huge cherry blossom street. All these cherry trees are called ‘Kansetsu-zakura’ and loved by everyone forever.

The best season will be from early April to the mid. It looks like a natural arcade when you see a full of cherry blossoms up on your head with 450 Yoshiko cherry trees blooming on both sides. It is a good place to walk around with rest places and souvenir shops, and moreover you are able to visit Eikando, Ginkaku-ji Temple, Honen-in Temple, and Otoyo-jinja Shrine.

ADDRESS : Shishigatani, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City