Daimonji-yama and Philosopher's Path, Kyoto

  • © Tim Brennan flickr user
  • Philosopher's Walk
  • Ducks
  • Philosopher's Walk
  • Cherry Blossoms
  • End of Philosopher's Walk and Ginkaku-ji sign
  • Ginkaku-ji Entrance
  • Zen Garden
  • Ginkaku-ji Temple
  • Path to Shrine  - © James Nash flickr user
  • Philosopher"s path   - © SpirosK photography flickr user
  • The honest-to-goodness Philosopher"s Walk  - © Jeremy _ _ flickr user
  • Gate inside Nanzen-ji temple - © Flickr users- Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble
  • Main gate of the Nanzen-ji temple - © Flickr user- t-mizo
  • Nanzen-ji temple - © Flickr user- Izu navi
  • Philosopher"s path - © Flickr user- Rodrigo Uribe
  • View of Kyoto from Daimonji-yama - © Flickr user- Andrew Eland

Key information: Daimonji-yama and Philosopher's Path, Kyoto

    • This hill above Kyoto gives you temples, a huge view over the city and a big but digestible helping of Japanese culture and history.
      • Climb from great Ginkaku-ji temple to the clearing on Daimonji-yama high above Kyoto where a giant symbol for 'dai' (great) is burned every August. Take in the city spread below you. Then summit Daimonji-yama and return to Kyoto and Nanzen-ji temple to join the famous Philosopher's Path, which winds between a number of Buddhist temples (and their famous gardens) and shrines - back to the start!
        • The Philosopher's Path (actually a surfaced lane) runs for 1.8km past some of Kyoto's most famous temples. It is a walk in its own right.
          • Expect intense and thoughtful experience. Allow as much time as you can to divert into the superb temples and shrines you will pass and to absorb everything you will encounter.
            • Lonely Planet's Walking in Japan has a chapter on this walk. 

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating86
  • Beauty30
  • Natural interest10
  • Human interest20
  • Charisma30
  • Negative points4
  • Total rating86
  • Note: Neg: urban/crowds: popularity

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 7km/4hours
  • Maximum Altitude: 466m
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate

This walk description page is at an early stage of development, and will be expanded over time. Your comments on this walk, your experiences and tips, and your photos are very welcome.

View of Kyoto from Daimonji-yama - © Flickr user- Andrew Eland


Name: Brett
Posted on: 27/02/2013
How do you have a maximum of 20 points for human interest but then award 30 to this walk (which gets it into the top 10 by clear abuse of your own rules)?

Walkopedia says: Thank you for pointing this error out! We've now adjusted the marks for this walk.

Name: RichardZen
Posted on: 31/05/2015
The Philosopher's Walk was the first thing I aimed at when arriving at the tourist-busy Kyoto. It had just snowed in Tokyo after I left on the Shinkansen, and the temperature was above freezing but a humid-cold that got into the bones when I arrived in Kyoto. It was still lovely with cherry blossoms covering the sidewalks and benches like snow flakes. There are ducks and a stream. The end of the walk is right at Ginkaku-ji Temple which I included some photos as any first timer would want to include it with the walk. It can be a bit of a find but if you have a good map or GPS you won't get lost.

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

© Ginkaku-ji Temple

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

© Zen Garden...

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