Craving Enlightenment? Follow the Philosopher's Path
When we arrived in Kyoto in mid-April, most of the cherry blossoms were no longer coloring the trees but sprinkled on the ground. We got lucky, though, spotting a few along the Philosopher’s Path (Tetsugaku no michi) still afluff with pink and white flowers, and some sakura willows with limbs drooping over the stone canal, seemingly as sad as we were that the season, hanami, had already passed. While walking along the path, we happened upon an artist sketching and purchased a black-and-white original print, the delicate lines of which capture the serenity of this place far better than any photo of our memorable walk. You’ll find the start of the path, said to be the daily route the famed philosopher Nishida Kitaro took to work at Kyoto University, near Ginkakuji Temple (Silver Pavilion). Follow the stone walkway along the canal till it ends in Nanzenji where you can visit the temple, or stop along the way to hike the stairs at Eikan-do temple for views of the city, then pause for a well-earned sweet at one of the many cafes sprinkled along the path.
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beat the heat
Summers in Kyoto can be hot and humid. But one easy way to beat the heat is to have a shave ice. Many unusal flavors are on offer but we typically chose the cherry or green tea. You can find the vendors outside all the most popular temples. And when visiting Kyoto we can highly recommend a walk along the Philosopher's Path. It follows along a canal lined with cherry trees between two of the most famous temples Nanzen-Ji (where the shave ice photo was taken) and Ginkaku-Ji. it takes about a half an hour to walk directly but there are a number of lovely stops along the way. Every temple in Kyoto has its own beauty and these are two not be missed.