The famous Tetsugaku-no-michi, Philosopher’s Path, is less well-traversed at its southern end, although even further south are the well-known Eikando and Nanzenji Temples. Glimpses of these temples were seen in the previous post, Higashiyama. This time we explore two shrines, the Kumano Nyakuoji Jinja and the Takinomiya.
Southern end of Tetsugaku-no-michi
Kumano Nyakuoji Jinja
This is one of three Kumano shrines in Kyoto. This shrine, established in 1160 by Emperor Go-Shirakawa, is the guardian of the Nyakuoji mountain area. It is also the guardian shrine of Zenrin-ji in the nearby Eikando Temple. It’s woodsy here, and the grounds are known for sakura in spring and colors in autumn.
This is the front entrance to the Kumano Nyakuoji Jinja. The back exit opens onto a road going up the mountain, past some homes, and takes you to the beginning of a kaidan flight of stairs to the torii of Takinomiya.
At the top of the kaidan is a flat area with hokora small shrines nestled under the trees.
There’s another kaidan, leading to a higher level. This one ends at a red torii which is in front of the Takinomiya shrine. This is a shrine to taki, waterfalls. Here, surrounded by nature, it feels pretty removed from busy Kyoto. As we pray before this shrine, we hear the sound of waterfalls. Walking to our right, we peer over the edge and glimpse a waterfall and a red shrine below.
We retrace our steps to the bottom of the two kaidans and follow the sound of water. There is still another shrine. We feel the magic of Seoritsuhime, guardian of waterfalls, and we linger for a while. Finally with a sigh, we head out to join the Tetsugaku-no-michi.