Ginkakuji, Philosopher's Path & Northern Higashiyama

Up to 5 Guests 4 Hours Private guide Flexible itinerary

Follow in the footsteps of Kyoto's most famous philosopher

* Soak up the views of Higashiyama's temples from the top of Nanzenji's incredible 17th century gate * Stroll along the Philosopher's Path, particularly pretty in spring and autumn * Meet the local artisans and learn about their unique crafts * Explore Ginkakuji (the Silver Pavilion) and its impressive gardens * Discover Honen-in temple and Shinnyodo pagoda - two of Kyoto's most serene spots * Stop in at one of the area's local cafes for a special matcha coffee or tea with character

Our fascinating Northern Higashiyama guided walk introduces guests to the rich heritage and unique culture of Eastern Kyoto while taking in some of the city’s most peaceful temples and gardens. 
We start the day by making our way to Nanzenji to climb its impressive 17th century Sanmon wooden gate and enjoy the views, which change with the seasons, over its many sub-temples. From there we begin our exploration of the Philosopher’s Path, named after a famous local philosopher who used to walk along the picturesque canal on his way to Kyoto University while practising meditation over a century ago. En route we discover pottery shops, wood carving artisans, some unique Kyoto-style cafes and Honen-in, one of the finest temples in the area nestled in the nearby hills. 
We then head to stunning Ginkakuji (the Silver Pavilion), originally built as a retirement villa and place of rest for the Shogun in the 15th century but never completely finished. The building represents a quintessential aspect of ‘wabi-sabi’ and the surrounding Zen temple gardens are amongst the prettiest in Kyoto. The nearby shops also serve up some of Kyoto’s tastiest snack food such as yaki onigiri (grilled rice balls) – a must try!
The tour ends with a visit to Shinnyodo pagoda, a beautiful three-storied wooden structure first constructed in the 10th century which is rarely crowded, before heading back to the central city.
This can be easily expanded into a full day Higashiyama walking tour or combined with one of our other half day guided walks and include visits to Arashiyama, Kinkakuji or Fushimi Inari shrine.


1 - 5 GUESTS
  • Accommodation meet and greet
  • Expert bilingual private guide
  • UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Secret spots and hidden gems
  • Option to customise into a full day tour

  • The price does not include transportation or temple / garden fees for each guest and the guide 

  • We will provide an accurate estimate of these fees and any customised options at the time of confirmation

  • Please bring a little cash to enjoy sampling the local cuisine! We can also tailor this tour to suit vegan and vegetarian clients

  • As this is a private walking tour, we can adjust the pace and length to suit but please let us know of any mobility issues

  • Please note our cancellation policy under ‘FAQs’ and we ask all clients to have comprehensive travel insurance


" Who knew a short note to Chris a few weeks in advance of our arrival would land us in the perfect morning in Kyoto. He met us at our hotel and guided us with ease from our hotel to Ginkakuji and the Philosophers path. We stopped along the way for tasty treats which the whole group loved and visited off the beaten path shrines and gardens. We had all ages from 5 years old to 75 years old and Chris made the whole thing work for everyone. It was a cherished and lovely moment of our time in Kyoto "
Picture of clients of Kyoto Guided Walks in front of Ginkakuji
S Prince

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