The temples of Kyoto
on the philosopher walk
The temples on the philosopher walk
A morning, I get out of the hostel where I stayed (article of PBP Hostel) to go to the bus station that is on the ground floor of the hostel. The bus led me to the first temple I wanted to visit passed through this bus station. So I come in and I let me guide until the final stop where I had to come out.
I remember that day in Kyoto it was sunny and quite hot. So, my visit-day started with the Ginkakuji Temple (article Ginkakuji temple) in the northeast of the city of Kyoto, also called the Silver Temple, and continued with the visit of other temples throughout the philosophy path (Kanpai link).
Throughout the 2 kilometres long-walk running the length of the waterway, and being under cherry trees, this path connects the Ginkakuji Temple with other temples of the area such as the Eikando-in temple or the Nanzen-ji temple that I also visited. This path is quickly accessible from the Ginkakuji Temple.
The Honen-in Temple
After the Ginkakuji Temple, I went to a buddhist temple, which is the Honen-in temple situated in the centre of a maple forest that is at the bottom of the Higashiyama mountain near to the Ginkaku-ji Temple. Its origin date back to the Kamakura period.
This temple has been established in 1680 in the honor of Honen who is the founder of the Jodo branch from japanese buddhism. He is mainly visited in spring time when the cherry trees blossom and in autumn when the maples are coming into orange and red colors.
Honen-in temple is dedicated to the art with the venue of exhibitions of local artists and musicians. He is mostly visited during the first week of April and the one of November when this temple is open and visitors converge.
The entrance of the building with its thatch roof overhangs a courtyard in which there are two small white sand hills prettily decorated by the monks as the seasons go by. At the bottom of the courtyard, there is a small bridge that allows to pass through the other side of the pond to go exploring the back of the temple.
Knowing that Honen-in is on the philosopher walk, it is important to take break there to admire the sculpture strew in the garden before continuing the walk.
When I was in the temple, I liked the calm and the serenity of that place knowing I was coming right away from the Silver Temple where it was crowded.
Once my visit done, I started again the path in direction of the Kumano sanctuary.
The Kumano Nyakuoji-kinja sanctuary
Arrived at the shinto sanctuary that have been founded in 1160 where is honored the God of school success and of commercial prosperity via the legendary crow yatagarasu. Indeed, this is in the tiles where the bird is present, thanks to the drawings realised. The bird is also the emblem of the victory.
In a shinto sanctuary, the tradition is to wash our hands with small wood cups with a long handle that are available. First, the left hand is washed and then the right hand with two washing that must be done before putting it down.
This sanctuary is one of the temples on the philosopher walk where is a good idea to take a break there before continuing the walk.
The Eikando-in Temple
My walk brought me in the Eikando-in temple previously known under the name of Zenrin-ji. Indeed, this is during the Heinan period that Abbot Yokan known as « Eikan » became priest and received the respect of many poor persons. So, this is in that period that Zenrin-ji changed his name into Eikando.
Inside of the temple with its garden and its pagoda in heigh are a pure beauty that we cannot miss during the visit.
So, let you be guided by walking in its park, run through of its beautiful nature and enjoy this moment at the Eikando-in temple.
Eikando-in is a temple that found on the philosopher walk.
The Temples on the Philosopher walk
This is a path that allows you to visit different temples, along this path you will also find cherry trees that they blossom in the spring time. The philosopher walk is a nice walk to do during an afternoon and especially in spring time. This walk that starts from the Ginkakuji Temple and end up to the Eikando-in temple.
I stayed there in : September 2019
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Travel blogger and photographer from Switzerland.
I travel the world and with my photographs I show the beauty of the world in order to raise awareness to people about Planet Earth’s issues, and wildlife.