The next day, I choose to bicycle again, since my knee had started hurting rather quickly the day before (after only 3 km or so). Though it’s, in my opinion, pretty dangerous to ride a bicycle on the sidewalks in Japan, it did feel good to go around by bicycle for once. The weather was perfect for a bit of cycling.
I’d been wanting to go to the Philosopher’s Path since I arrived in Kyoto, but it was a little far to go by foot. This was my chance! I passed this beautiful shrine first, then along a river, through some maze-like backstreets and then saw those stairs. I was curious so I parked my bike and went up the long stairs. The temple I found unfortunately wasn’t as spectacular as I’d hoped, but it was nice to be in the shade for a bit.
After a bit more cycling through the quiet streets, I found what I was looking for: the Philosopher’s Path. I have some great memories here from back in 2013, when my Canadian friend and I joined forced with a lost Australian couple to find Kinkaku-ji. It’s a calm place, and a good getaway from the heat.
When I wanted to go back to center of Kyoto, I got a bit lost, then found myself on a long busy road that ran next to a (the?) university. A straight road that seemed endless and that went slightly downhill, awesome! After I enjoyed this feeling of freedom, I decided to find another interesting place to see, and so I stopped at a park that eventually turned out to be the imperial palace or something like that. But it was hot, and my knee started to hurt so I decided not to explore any more of this park.
At the end of my cycle trip, I ended up at Nijo Castle, where thousands of school kids gathered to visit. Luckily, I’d been there 3 years ago in a much quieter season. Once again, I was attracted by the water, but didn’t go down because of my knee. It was time to return to the guesthouse for some much needed rest!