Ginkaku-ji Temple & Philosopher’s Path

Reachable by bus number 5, 17, 100, Ginkaku-ji is a Zen temple located at the eastern part of Kyoto. Constructed on 1482 and often referred to as the Silver Pavilion, not because it is made of silver  but with two alternative possible explanation- a) it was modeled after the Golden Pavilion b) the moon light reflecting on its dark exterior creates  the silvery appearance.

With the towering wall-covered moss serving as the entrance pathway to the temple, the Silver Pavilion will be the first one you will see together with a well-maintained dry garden, mostly made up of white sand known as the “Sea of Silver Sand”. I don’t know much about Zen garden but I am pretty sure that every meticulously constructed ripple-like sand formation has an aesthetic purpose.

Once  done squeezing my way inside the temple together with loads of kids on a school trip, I am now ready to be enlighten and take a leisurely 2km walk along the Philosopher’s Path.

As the name suggest, the path said to inspire Japan’s most famous philosopher- Nishida Kitaro, who believed to practice meditation while walking along the stone path, on his way to Kyoto University.  With hundreds of cherry trees sheltering the canal in the middle, today the path no longer inspires philosophers but mainly art students and the occasional lovers strolling hand in hand.

“If my heart can become pure and simple like that of a child, I think there  probably can be no greater happiness than this” – Nishida Kitaro

3 thoughts on “Ginkaku-ji Temple & Philosopher’s Path

    1. hey marina, i have a tip for you..
      part of government initiative to encourage more tourist to visit Japan after the March quake/Fukushima nuclear issue, they are giving away free return flight tickets!
      the only deal is you have to blog about your tour.. i’m pretty sure you are more than qualified for this..
      don’t know much about the details but you can search for it and give it a try..

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