The beauty of Shikoku Island and a life-changing pilgrimage

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  • Just before starting this topic you should keep in mind that very few people are actually capable of doing it completely. However, for those who aren’t able of extreme hiking, don’t worry there trains and bicycles to help you and even if you just see a part of the Shikoku Island, you’ll be truly amazed!

    In this article we’ll recommend you one temple for each of the four provinces (Shikoku means four provinces by the way). But before that it is important to know some facts. The pilgrimage of Shikoku is meant to walk through 88 temples which are associated with the Buddhist monk Kukai. The walking course is approximately 1,200km long and it takes between 30 to 60 days.

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    What a journey for a Henro (name given to the pilgrims by the inhabitants)! By the way, pilgrims are wearing traditional white clothing with sedge hats and they have walking sticks.

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    Ryozen Temple

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    Usually the hiking starts from Naruto town which is located in the Tokushima’s province. If you don’t have time or strength to do the pilgrimage, you should visit at least the Ryozen temple which is the pilgrimage’s temple number one.

    Chikurin Temple

    Then you should definitely visit the Kochi town of the Kochi province as you can admire the 31st temple of the pilgrimage; Chikurin Temple.

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    Okubo Temple

    In the last province, the Kagawa province, you should definitely visit the Okubo temple in the town of Sanuki! It is the 88th temple.

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    Tips

    Just a few obvious advices if you decide to become a Henro. You must of course get training because the Shikoku Island has plenty of mountains so you’ll go up and down every day. You should acquire professional shoes and equipment for hiking and of course you should inform your friends and the local police station just in case you get lost so that people can look for you.

    About accommodation, it all depends on opportunities and on your budget! You can find free stay, cheap stay or comfy beds stay! Therefore price could vary and you should ask the Shikoku Island Tourist Center. You’ll go through many villages and towns so you will have enough food to survive.

    Enjoy and good luck!