I had a great 5 days in Kyoto over the long weekend. I won’t go into detail about everything I did; instead I’ll just post highlights of some of my favorite places.
Tetsugaku-no-Michi (Philosopher’s Path)
This is a short walking trail near the Eastern mountains in Kyoto. It’s famous because a philosopher working at Kyoto University in the 50s or 60s used to take walks there to meditate and think. It’s now a popular tourist spot, especially during spring when it’s lined with blossoming cherry trees.
I walked there early on Sunday morning, and it was the happiest I’ve been in a long time. (which is saying a lot!) There was almost no one else around, the air was cool and sweet, the sun was rising over the mountain so it angled through the trees and created incredible shadows and colors… it was peaceful and gorgeous and perfect.
Honen-In (Honen Temple)
This is a little-visited temple off of Tetsugaku-no-michi. It is quite large, and has spectacular gardens. It was the perfect side-trip from my stroll along the michi, as there was absolutely no one at the temple. I took time to take pictures, enjoy the gardens, stroll, and meditate. Really pleasant, although sadly the temple itself is not open to the public.