Lost in Thoughts on Philosopher's Path

By Christina Kim - May 15, 2017


The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance 
  - Aristotle -

What goes through the minds of great philosophers?
What makes them come up with great words of wisdom?
What makes them masters of philosophy?

Maybe this is something only the philosophers themselves can answer, for it is their minds after all.

We have all have our moments as well, moments of thoughts which we have for ourselves.
The moments where we indulge in deep thinking, and sometimes coming up with ideas we may have never even seen the light of before; making us wonder where it was all the while.

There are many ways in which one comes up with ideas; under different circumstances and environment. 
There is no specific guide to spending time alone with your own thoughts.

Listening to music, keeping to one's self in the room, retreat to a place where there is no one at all are just few but many ways of losing oneself in their own thoughts.

Or simply, just take a walk.

A relaxing walk surrounded by the beautiful scenes and sounds of nature sounds fitting enough to get lost in the thoughts.

A famous professor and philosopher, Nishida Kitaro did exactly that.

Hailing from the local Kyoto University, the professor is known to take a walk daily through a scenic route filled with cherry blossom trees and lined with a canal to get to his workplace at the university.

It was said to be his form of daily meditation.

The seemingly ordinary route passes by restaurants, cafes, residential homes and also a number of temples and shrines encompasses the directed passage heading to the university.




Professor Nishida Kitaro's reputation and his regular walks along this path soon placed the route in the spotlight and it was exactly how it got its name.

Philosopher's Path (哲学の道, Tetsugaku no mich)

Spanning for an approximate of two kilometers, the Philosopher's Path begins from the renowned Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion) and ends at Nanzenji.

The pedestrian path, located in the northern part of Higashiyama in Kyoto, runs along a long canal which can be seen and makes up most of the parts of the walk.

The long canal is part of the Lake Biwa canal; which was built during the Meiji Period and runs for more than 20 kilometers through mountains until it reaches the lake itself in the Shiga Perfecture.


It was built in efforts to revive the country's sluggish economy at that time and even contributed to power up Japan's first hydroelectric power plant.


Besides the canal, one could not help but notice the continuous stretch of cherry blossom trees lining the path as one embarks on their journey; which seem to go on for as long as the path stretches.


I could only imagine the scenic view it makes during the hanami season (cherry blossom season).

Unfortunately, I was not there during the season, though I must say, the sight of the withered trees as they stood with their branches stretched out drearily was still quite a hauntingly beautiful scene, not to mention it being modestly picturesque.


I love taking walks and one that is accompanied by natural scenes of nature; trees, canals, rocks with sounds of water gurgling in the background along with an occasional chirp of two was just perfect.

It was a quiet afternoon as I started my walk from Ginkaku-ji; shortly after visiting the famous Silver Pavilion, and walking was all I did, while enjoying the scenery and the serenity of the surroundings.

It did not feel like a long or tiresome walk; maybe because it was a cooler weather or perhaps I was just lost in my thoughts, or the beauty of the scenery.

I must say, the idyllic and conducive environment has definitely instilled peace and a feeling of calmness in me; making whatever thoughts which occupied the mind beforehand simply seem non-existent.


My mind is at ease, and I was feeling free.

Yes, just free and simple bliss.

I let myself get lost in my thoughts (something I do often too) and just revel in the natural surroundings.




It is a form of meditation, and is definitely beneficial to one's well-being.

I may not have great ideas or philosophies induced during my walk, but I definitely have found my moments of enlightenment along the way.

It may not be something everyone enjoy perhaps, especially when one is pressed for time in Kyoto, or simply because not many would want to take a long walk, without a purpose; perhaps for Hanami or even just to say they have been on this famous path.

For me, this is definitely something I enjoyed and would not mind sparing time for it again, and again.
I only write about the places I enjoy anyway, so this is definitely one of my favorite places.

For peace of mind and simply an enjoyable quiet time to oneself, or even just to get lost in thoughts, take a walk.


A walk anywhere; though a scenic path like the Philosopher's Path is more than ideal, don't you think?






Happiness exists not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul
- Democritus -

*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

Art Direction and Photography Styling by Me.
Photos/Videos all belong to me and are copyrighted.
Please kindly ask for permission if you need to use any of my images.

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