Kyoto: Temples along the Philosopher’s Walk Tour
Amble along the path of the Philosopher’s Walk to see three of the most beautiful temples in Kyoto: Nanzenji, Honen-in, and Ginkaku-ji.
◆ Visit Nanzenji Temple, the head temple of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism, famous for its impressive Sanmon gate
◆ Take in the peaceful atmosphere of Honen-in Temple, a small temple with a unique moss-covered thatched gate
◆ Meander around historical Ginkakuji Temple, the sister facility to the Golden Pavilion
◆ Stroll along the Philosopher’s Walk, a beautiful cherry tree-lined path along the Higashiyama district’s canal
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
Dating back to the 13th century, Nanzenji is one of the most important Zen temples in Japan, as well as the head temple of the Rinzai sect of Buddhism. A large complex, its most famous structure is the two-story Sanmon gate, which welcomes you at the entrance of the temple. The main hall is also home to an impressive rock garden, as well as treasured artworks depicted on its sliding doors.
To the right side of Nanzenji Temple, there is Suirokaku Aqueduct, one of the oldest Western structures in modern Japan. It connects to Lake Biwa Canal, which was constructed to draw water for the northern part of Kyoto during the late nineteenth century. The striking structure contrasts magnificently against its natural backdrop, and it is a popular sight for photographers.
The Philosopher’s Walk is a stone path of about 1.5km that goes along the Lake Biwa Canal. It is lined by cherry trees and is particularly picturesque during the cherry blossom and autumn leaves seasons. The area has been known as "Philosopher’s Walk" since 1972, as it was named after famed philosophers Kitaro Nishida and Hajime Tanabe, who liked to practice meditation by walking along the road.
Honen-in is a small temple with few tourists, giving it a serene, natural environment. Surrounded by bamboo groves, it is visited for its simple beauty. The most prominent feature of the temple is its thatched gate, which is covered in moss and surrounded by canopying maple trees. Another popular attraction is the unusual raised sand gardens, which display different scenes every season.
Ginkakuji was built as the mountain lodge of a powerful fifteenth-century shogun. It was modeled after the Kinkakuji (the “Golden Pavilion”), which had in turn been built by the shogun built by the shogun’s leader. Today, it is one of the most representative early examples of shoin-style architecture, the most influential style of traditional Japanese design. It is known for its serene, Zen atmosphere, and is home to an attractive moss garden and a unique sand cone structure. At the top of the temple’s hill, there are also panoramic views of the city below.
The meeting place for this tour is JR Kyoto Station's Rooftop Sky Garden.
You will travel by subway to Nanzenji Temple.
The tour route is as follows:
JR Kyoto Station Rooftop Sky Garden → Nanzenji Temple → Philosopher’s Walk → Honen-in Temple → Ginkakuji Temple → JR Kyoto Station
The tour will end at JR Kyoto Station.
Want to experience more after this tour? We recommend the following:
W002: Kyoto’s Higashiyama: Tradition, Art & Religion Tour
W003: Gion Night Tour
Total Price = Basic Fee + Fee per Person * Number of Participants + Tax
The Philosopher’s Walk
・Nationally licensed tour guide-interpreter
(1 guide for every 8 people)
・Public transportation (by subway & bus)
・Admission to Nanzenji Temple
・Admission to Ginkakuji Temple
*The adult fee is 17,380 yen including tax, and the child fee for children under 12 years old accompanied by an adult is 12,170 yen.
** The minimum number of participants for this tour is 2 adults. If two children under 12 years old are accompanied by an adult, they will count as 1 adult.
・ Food & drink, shopping expenses, etc.
・ Transportation to the meeting place
・ Transportation from the tour end place
※ If you wish to be picked up from your hotel, an additional 3,300 yen (tax included) will be added to the fee.
◆ This is a shared program. Multiple groups may take this program at once.
◆ Please follow the instructions of the guide during the program. We will not be responsible for any accidents that may occur due to disobedience of the guide's instructions.
◆ The program will be operated in accordance with the guidelines stipulated by the Japan Tourism Agency. As a measure against COVID-19, you will be asked to disinfect your hands and wear a mask, and we will measure your temperature before starting the experience.
◆ Walking tours may be subject to change due to facility closures or weather conditions. In such cases, we will guide you to alternative locations.
◆ The program duration stated is only approximate. Please note that the duration of the experience may vary depending on the situation and the number of guests.
◆ For walking tours, you are requested to meet our guide at a designated meeting place. If you are late, please contact us at 03-6432-0195 during business hours (weekdays from 9:00 to 18:00). We may also provide you with an additional telephone number to contact in advance of the program.
◆ If you require special assistance during the program due to any of the following: religious reasons, physical conditions, illness, allergies, or the age of children, please be sure to indicate this in the remarks section of the reservation form at the time of application. Please note that we cannot guarantee any arrangements or changes to the program without prior inquiry.
◆ The minimum number of participants for this program is 2.
◆ This program is typically held in English. However, languages other than English can also be supported. Please inquire at email@example.com for details. If the program is available in your language, an additional fee of 1,000 yen (tax not included) per person will be added to the listed fee.
◆ Our business hours are from 9:00 to 18:00 on weekdays. Please note that inquiries received outside of business hours will be handled on the next business day. The application deadline for this program is 10:00 a.m. (Japan Standard Time) five business days prior to the tour date. If you wish to apply after the deadline, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
◆ Please note that we cannot guarantee arrangements for programs purchased after the application deadline without prior inquiry.