Kyoto, Japan : Sights at Higashiyama and Dinner at Manshige

Kyoto 京都 - Philosopher's Walk 哲学の道

18th July 2010. Written by Xin Li.

If there is one place you must walk in Kyoto, it is the Philosopher’s Walk (哲学の道) located between Nanzenji and Gingaku-ji. This walking route was made famous by a well-known 20th century Japanese philosopher who used to work at the Kyoto University. The latter was said to use it for his daily meditation as well as for viewing the cherry blossoms during the spring season.

Kyoto 京都 - Philosopher's Walk 哲学の道

Despite its reputation, I am fortunate that it wasn’t so crowded when I took a walk there probably because the weather doesn’t looked good and summer season isn’t the best of times to visit the place which is more well-known for the its cherry trees along the canal and its autumn foliage. The area around Gingaku-ji was more crowded with tourists.

Kyoto 京都 - Okazaki Shrine

The peaceful atmosphere created by the lush greenery lining the canal is the reason why I think the Philosopher’s Walk is worth visiting. You could also rest in one of those teahouses along the path and enjoy the serenity the promenade has to offer especially during cherry and maple seasons or take some time to visit some temples along the way.

Kyoto 京都 - Okazaki Shrine



Kyoto 京都 - Okazaki Shrine

Besides the Philosopher’s Walk I also visited the Okazaki Shrine located near the better-known Heian Jingu. The shrine dates back to 794 AD and it is one of the oldest shrines in Kyoto. This was where I got an adorable rabbit figurine and it wasn’t crowded too.

Kyoto 京都 - Heian Jingū 平安神宮



Kyoto 京都 - Heian Jingū 平安神宮

The Heian Jingu on the other hand was very spacious and monumental in scale (just look at the Torii alone). Built in 1895 supposedly to help boost the city’s morale and economy after the shift of the capital from Kyoto to Tokyo, the Heian Jingu is also a faithful replica of Heian Architecture which is heavily influenced by Tang Dynasty architecture. Although critics also pointed out their dislike for the bright colours employed claiming that it is not authentic enough compared to present Heian structures like the Byodo-in (apparently the bright colours have since wear off due to the passage of time).

Kyoto 京都 - Heian Jingū 平安神宮

For art lovers, you there are at least two art museums for you to visit near the Heian Jingu. There is the Museum of Modern Art of Kyoto (MoMAK) which was designed by famed architect, Fumihiko Maki and there is a Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art which is housed in an early 20th century structure. On the day of my visit, there was very long queue outside the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Kyotoites (and tourists?) sure love art museums eh?

Kyoto 京都 - 京都市美術館 Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art



Kyoto 京都 - 京都市美術館 Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art


The 3rd day was a packed one with a fruitful journey to Uji, Inari and Higashiyama. I settled my dinner at this restaurant located at the Porta Mall located at the Kyoto Station area.

Kyoto 京都 - 萬重 Manshige

Aesthetics was brilliant once again, set meals never seemed so beautiful in Singapore. The restaurant is called Manshige (萬重) and I had a set meal for 1600 yen which was quite comprehensive with side dishes, rice, soup, cooked items, pickled vegetables and dessert (plus friendly service).

Kyoto 京都 - 萬重 Manshige

Chilled light tasting tasty noodles.

Kyoto 京都 - 萬重 Manshige

This was quite sour but refreshing like having a shot of lime juice.

萬重 Manshige

Tofu skins (yuba). It was quite bland by itself. It came with some grated white wasabi-tasting thing which perks everything up. The small dish contains a tofu with something like mustard, savoury stuff.

萬重 Manshige

Soft juicy eggplant with bonito flakes and long beans.

萬重 Manshige

This was quite ordinary, a cold hard boiled egg which I didn’t enjoy together with sautéed mushrooms and prawn.

萬重 Manshige

Dessert is a mango pudding which was quite jelly like served with a slice of kiwi.

萬重 Manshige

I was stuffed at the end of the meal. The total cost was 1600 yen. Not spectacular in terms of taste but quite decent, I enjoyed the noodles the most.

Kyo-Ryori Manshige
京都府京都市下京区東塩小路町902 京都駅前地下街ポルタ内


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