The Shikoku Pilgrimage is a circular shaped pilgrimage on the island of Shikoku in Japan.  There are 88 “official” sacred Temples and numerous other sacred sites where Kukai (known as Kobo Daishi) is believed to have trained during the 9th century.


On April 07 2009, we set off to walk the 1200 kilometres of this Pilgrimage without knowing any Japanese or where we were going to sleep each night.  Jeff, recently retired at 60, was carrying a 19 kilo pack.  Pam at 55 was carrying a 17 kilo pack.  We had a tent and a stove with us.


We reminded ourselves of the pilgrim’s oath number 2 – “I will not complain if things do not go well while on the pilgrimage, but consider such experiences to be part of aesthetic training”.


Millions revere Kobo Daishi, founder of the Shingon sect of Buddhism and his presence is felt throughout Shikoku.  Spirituality is fundamental to the pilgrimage, but others have better dealt this with aspect.  The following are our day-to-day experiences, recorded as we walked.



The position (Latitude and Longitude) is shown for each night.

Day 1 : 07 April 2009


On arriving at Temple 1 Ryozenji (Spirit Mountain Temple) we were confronted by chaos as two bus loads of henro arrived at the same time as we did and we were all in the tiny little shop trying to buy our outfits at once.  We purchased a stamp book and name slips to fill out and drop at the various Temples as well as a walking stick and sedge hat to look the part.  The hats had to go back to the shop, as they did not work with our large packs.


A typical Temple compound usually consists of an entry gate, a place to wash hands, a bell tower, a Main Hall, a Daishi Hall and various other buildings.


We had made it in time to see the cherry blossoms, which were especially beautiful amongst the buildings of the Temples.


Temple 2 Gokurakuji (Temple of the Pure Land) was reached by following red way marks of a walking pilgrim.


Temple 3 Konsenji (Golden Spring Temple) was a short walk away.


We decided that was enough for day 1 as it was getting late and we still had to buy food and find a place to sleep.  After a bit of searching we were directed to a sports park where we spread out our sleeping bags on benches in a shelter shed, cooked our dinner and slept well.

(34.1381 N 134.4554 E)

Day 2 : 08 April 2009


We have seen a few walking henro (single Japanese men).  Most people do the pilgrimage by bus and it was very calming to sit and listen to large groups chanting together.


At each Temple we had our book stamped with 3 red stamps then overwritten with calligraphy.


Early in the day we came across a group of people working in the cemetery of an unnamed Temple who invited us to join them in a cup of tea and something to eat.  They sent us away with a bottle of tea and some biscuits as our first osettai (gifts given to pilgrims)


We visited Temple 4 Dainichiji (Temple of the Great Sun)


Temple 5 Jizoji (The Earthbearer’s Temple)


Temple 6 Anrakuji (Temple of Everlasting Joy)


Temple 7 Jurakuji (Temple of Ten Joys) Opposite the Temple is a lovely little udon restaurant where the noodles are served in large wooden bowls of hot water.  We stopped there for lunch and had to be shown how to dip the noodles into a separate bowl of stock before eating.  The owner came back a little while later to make sure we were doing it right.


Temple 8 Kumadaniji (Bear Valley Temple) where we were given permission to sleep in a little hut in the parking lot reserved for walking henro.  We had it to ourselves. 

(34.1212 N 134.34 E)


We received more osettai of 2 bottles of water from a tour bus driver, a big block of jelly from a deliveryman and some delicate sweets (wagasi) from the Temple stamp office.

Day 3 : 09 April 2009


We woke up to 6 degrees but our shed was warm and cosy.


Temple 9 Horinji (The Dharma Wheel Temple) where many straw sandals can be seen in the main hall, hung by people wishing to cure leg problems.


There are 333 steps leading up to Temple 10 Kirihataji (Cut Cloth Temple) a taste of what was to come.


We had been walking along a wide valley dotted with small fields and farmhouses with their traditional tiled rooves, curved at the ends.  In front are beautifully sculptured trees of varying sizes making it quite a picture.  It was flat and off the main road with very little traffic.  We were amazed at the number of vending machines selling all kinds of beverages, even beer.


We stopped to buy supplies for the next 2 days at a little family run grocery store.  Jeff was waiting outside guarding the packs while I was followed around and offered advice as I tried to choose things with Japanese labels.  Before I could pay, the ladies called Jeff in to the shop and we all sat down for tea, wishing we could understand what they were saying to us.  We left with 2 fresh carrots as osettai.


As we crossed over to the other side of the valley we met a lady who gave us a packet of tissues and a can of drink.  It was so thoughtful of her as the day was starting to heat up.  Later we were given 2 oranges.


At Temple 11 Fujiidera (Wisteria Temple) the wisteria was just starting to appear.  After this the path headed steeply upwards into forest. 


We stopped for the night near a small Temple in a little wooden henro hut with tatami mats on the floor and blankets.  There were 3 other henro.  David from Australia stayed up late to take amazing photos of the full moon.  We were to cross paths with him many times more in the strangest of places and he was always cold. 

(34.0155 N 134.3303 E)

Day 4 : 010 April 2009


The day began with an hour of climbing followed by an hour of descending only to climb again to reach Temple 12 Shosanji (Burning Mountain Temple).


At regular intervals along the forest path are small stone statues, each with a colourful apron and a bowl at their feet for offerings.


In the afternoon we were in for a big surprise, another steep descent, climb and finally a descent into another valley.


For osettai today we were given a free cup of tea at a teahouse, 10 mandarins and Jeff was given another cup of tea and 100 yen.


We camped on the banks of a river for the night halfway to the next Temple, going to bed at 6pm exhausted.  We should have done a bit more training before leaving home.

(34.0091 N 134.3759 E)

Day 5 :11 April 2009


Closely following the picturesque Akuigawa River, we arrived at Temple 13 Dainichiji (Temple of the Great Sun).


The next 4 Temples were all close together on the outskirts of Tokushima.


Temple 14 Jorakuji (Temple of Everlasting Peace)


Temple 15 Kokubunji (The Official State Temple)


Temple 16 Kanonji (Avalokitesvera Temple)


Temple 17 Idoji (Well Temple)


We decided on a hotel in Tokushima city for a hot bath, a cold beer and to wash our clothes.  Sakuraso is a minshuku near the railway station with lovely Japanese tatami rooms and a kind lady who washed our dirty clothes for us.  After a feed of Awa Adori Chicken, we moved on to the restaurant next door and had a big bowl of Tokushima Ramen (one of our favourites).  We encountered 2 female henro we had met earlier at the first restaurant and another young henro at the second.  It was like greeting old friends.

(34.073 N 134.5535 E)

Day 6 : 12April 2009


After a stroll around Tokushima without our packs and a delicious hand made udon breakfast, we set off late morning for Temple 18 Onzanji (Temple of Gratitude Mountain).


We tried to refill our MSR stove with unleaded petrol at a service station but the attendant refused to sell it to us (maybe these types of stoves are uncommon in Japan).  There was just enough to get by for the night.


We were given permission to put up our tent in the parking lot of the Temple.

(33.985 N 134.577 E)

Day 7 : 13 April 2009


We began with a shortcut through a dense bamboo forest where we watched a man harvesting bamboo shoots.  The path then wove between small rice plots where trays of bright green rice seedlings lay ready for planting.


We found ourselves a bit lost having overshot our corner but were soon informed of our mistake by a nice couple in a van.  When we arrived back at the corner, they were waiting there patiently to make sure we got it right, handed us a can of drink each and drove off.


At Temple 19 Tatsueji (Temple of the Arising Bay) we were given another drink each and some strawberries.  The same lady came back a little while later with 2 more cans of drink and an offer of a bath at her house.  We declined as we were as we were not used to such kindness.  Further down the road she returned again with a lucky dragon charm.


We met Taku, another walking henro who spoke English well and had lived in Australia for a while.  We explained our problem getting petrol and asked him to write in Japanese that it was for our stove.  Whatever he wrote worked, as the next refill was free as osettai and we had no more problems.


We followed a river valley  then turned steeply uphill to arrive at Temple 20 Kakurinji (Temple of the Crane Forest)


The downhill that followed was just as steep but shorter.  The first of many blisters began to appear.


We had another pleasant night camping on a river bank.

(33.9054 N 134.5191 E)

Day 8 : 14 April 2009


It began to rain during the night and continued drizzling as we climbed again through dense forest beside a rushing stream to Temple 21 Tairyuji (Big Dragon Temple).


By the time we reached the Temple it was raining quite hard and continued into the night.


Temple 22 Byodoji (Temple of Equality) was next where we received some sweets as osettai fro a bicycle henro.


We put up our tent beside a rest hut away from the busy road.

(33.8073 N 134.5863 E)

Day 9 : 15 April 2009


The thunderstorm of the night before didn’t bother us, we were warm and dry in our tent.  The day dawned bright and sunny.  Before setting off we took advantage of spring water do some washing.  (A good washing machine is a dry bag filled with water, detergent and dirty clothes, sealed up and shaken a few times - works great).  We set off with our wet washing hanging off the back of our packs with safety pins.


When we reached a crossroads on Route 55 where there was a choice in paths, another henro came by and told us the quieter but slightly longer Highway 25 via the coast was more beautiful.  He was in a hurry so chose the quicker route but we opted for the scenic one.  (For safety while walking on the roads, we had cut up a bright yellow safety vest using the armhole over our heads forming a bib that could easily be slipped on as well as a piece of the same material with elastic straps to fit over our packs at the back).


We were not disappointed as we headed past the white sand beach of Tainohama Beach.  There are many little huts along the way for resting.


In Kiki Town, a little fishing village, we encountered an old lady sitting under a plastic shelter just waiting for henro to pass.  She had little packets of 10 x 5 yen pieces to give as osettai.  She handed us each one, which we offered at the next Temple. 


Temple 23 Yakuoji (Medicine King Temple)


We walked on to Yamagawachi train station in the hope of camping nearby but were refused permission.  A lovely lady invited us to stay at her house but we felt uncomfortable doing this and did not want to inconvenience her.  Instead she arranged for us to camp in a sports park nearby.  A short while later she returned with a delicious dinner, beer and fruit.  We would like to thank her very much for this generosity.

(33.7159 N 134.4849 E)

Day 10 : 16 April 2009


Feeling fit by now, we set off on Highway 55 between pine covered hills.  Any flat land is filled up with houses and rice paddies.  A loud chorus of croaks from the frogs could be heard as we passed.


The coloured manhole covers are a real work of art depicting rice plants in this area.


In Mugi Town we stopped for a big bowl of udon with octopus balls then set off again, only to be stopped 300 metres later by 2 ladies in a tent waiting for the next henro to walk by.  We had a choice of tea or coffee.  We chose coffee, which arrived promptly with bright purple sweets made out of sweet potato, some steamed sweet potato and orange segments, which was then followed by tea.  It was all so good we forced ourselves to eat it.  We all laughed as both ladies tried to lift our heavy packs and failed.


At a rest hut further on we received a welcoming can of drink and a tomato from the owner’s garden.


Back on the coast again, we found a quiet little beach away from the road to set up camp for the night.

(33.5832 N 134.322 E)

Day 11 : 17 April 2009


We walked on Highway 55 all day.  We felt safe when walking on the roads because of the wide footpaths beside most of them even in the many tunnels.


After the first few kilometres we took advantage of some clean toilets with a big sink to have a wash and change clothes before continuing on our way feeling refreshed.


From a high bridge we watched sea eagles soaring then diving amongst the fishing boats in the clear water below.


We received another offer for a bath, but felt clean enough.


There were a few more henro walking in both directions, one doing it tough in bare feet, carrying only a plastic bag.


We crossed from Tokushima Prefecture into Kochi Prefecture.  Whales visit the coast here.


On a hill beside the highway we passed 2 ladies selling citrus fruit but big bags of them, too heavy for us to carry.  We were called over by the first who gave us as osettai a large bag of oranges.  The other one then gave us some yellow oranges with thick white pith and told us something we did not understand.  Around the corner we sat down to eat all the fruit so as not to have to carry it.


We waddled past the surfing beach of Itani where many people were surfing.


Not 5 minutes down the road, a little bent over lady called to us from across the road to try her fruit.  She upturned 3 orange crates for us to sit on and proceeded to show us how to eat the yellow oranges by peeling off only the skin and eating the soft white pith as well as the delicious sweet orange.  After we had eaten 2 (already full from the previous lot) she began on the grapefruit and got quite a laugh as we tried to eat that pith.  Setting off again, we didn’t get very far when another walking henro crossed the road to give us 2 more oranges (we suspect he did not want to carry them).


While having lunch, a car henro also having his, came over to us with 2 bottles of drink and 2 plastic cups.  He thought we were quite a sight and took our photo.


We were so thankful for everything we had received.


We put up the tent out of sight on a black sand beach and went to sleep with the waves crashing onto the shore.

(33.4236 N 134.2237 E)

Day 12 : 18 April 2009


Still on Highway 55, we headed towards Cape Muroto along the coastline.  We had to stop at a little village to buy supplies and while waiting for the shop to open we sampled some grilled chicken from a stall across the road.  We were given as osettai a fat pancake filled with sweet red bean paste, still warm.


At the shop we bought a prepared rice box for our lunch later, the rice, prawns and shredded egg artfully arranged.


Off the coat we saw some large rocks, two of which were joined by thick rope.  They are known as the Married Couple Rocks.


We had both developed more blisters and the tedium of 3 days walking on the same highway was beginning to tire us.  Finally a short, steep climb through forest right at the end of Cape Muroto bought us to Temple 24 Hotsumisakiji (Cape Temple).


Following around the cape to the west, we plodded on, looking for somewhere to camp.  It took a while, but we found a wonderful place with toilets, shelter shed, lots of grassy area and a new enclosed bus depot.  Spoiled for choice, we opted for the bus shelter not realising that a bus was due late that night.  Nevertheless, we soon went back to sleep.

(33.269 N 134.1604 E)

Day 13 : 19 April 2009


We didn’t have very far to walk to Temple 25 Shinshoji (Temple of the Illuminating Seaport)


To get to Temple 26 Kongochoji (Vajra Temple) there was another short but steep climb.


There is not much flat land between the mountains and the sea, so the towns along the coastline are long and thin.


We stopped for lunch in the antique street of Kiragawa Village, where there are well-preserved homes from the late 19th century, built to withstand the harsh coastal weather.  Our restaurant was in one of these homes, the food delicate and delicious.


Hot and tired, we sat down to rest.  Soon a lady came out of her house, she said we could fill our water bottles from her hose, went inside and returned with a cold jug of ice tea and 2 oranges for us.


We put the tent up in a park in Nahari.

(33.4253 N 134.0165 E)

Day 14 : 20 April 2009


Our way marks took us off the main road to meander through the quieter streets of the fishing ports.


We soon started uphill to Temple 27 Konomineji (God Summit Temple) where there is a spring coming out of the mountain said to have healing powers.  We both drank from it in the hope of healing our blisters.


The stamp office of the Temple gave us as osettai a set of old black and white post cards.


There was a 3.5 kilometre walk up and back.  We decided to hide our packs in the forest, locked together around a tree and hidden away while we visited the Temple.  We laughed at our caution when we saw a bicycle henro had left his bike with all his gear, locked by the roadside, but with the key still in it.


It started to rain (our raincoats safely locked away in our packs at the bottom of the hill).


Once we retrieved our packs, we stopped at a roadside stall for takoyaki (octopus balls).  Fascinated, we watched as batter was poured into small half circle moulds.  A small piece of octopus is added, then with a needle thin stick they are constantly turned until they are perfectly round and golden.  Delicious.  The cook came out with tea as we were eating.


We camped in a park by the sea in Aki City.  Because of the strong wind, we had to cook our dinner under the overhang of the toilets.

(33.5012 N 133.8912 E)

Day 15 : 21 April 2009


It rained heavily all night and continued as we packed up our tent and set off.


We walked many kilometres on a cycle road away from traffic and at times along the coast, stopping at a welcoming henro hut for a rest.


A lady ran after us out of breath, worried that we had missed the rest hut.  She told us to pick up some oranges that had fallen from a laden tree.  She even washed them off for us, before stuffing them into the back of our packs.


The rain had stopped by the time we reached Temple 28 Dainichiji (The Great Sun Temple) where another walking henro gave us a small bun each.


The Temple office gave us permission to put up our tent in the parking lot.  We were soon joined by a car henro who put his tent up next to ours.  We shared some of our cooked potatoes and he reciprocated with some sake.

(33.5769 N 133.7056 E)

Day 16 : 22 April 2009


Our tent neighbour brought over 2 packets of coffee for us in the morning.  We reciprocated with a boiled egg.


We began by zigzagging across a wide fertile flat valley, the air crisp and fresh after the rain of the day before.


We arrived at Temple 29 Kokubunji (The Official State Temple) partly hidden amongst pines and weeping trees.


Next it was Temple 30 Zenrakuji (Temple of Everlasting Joy) and the Shinto shrine across the road.


It was then into Kochi City, our second hotel, for a welcome bath after 11 days of camping.  We chose a Japanese minshuku, Tosa Bekkan, a friendly family run hotel with tatami rooms and an onsen (hot bath) we could use together.  We made use of the coin washer and dryer before going out to try okonomiyaki (a huge pancake of cabbage, noodles and egg in batter, cooked at the table and eaten by cutting off little piece).

(33.5629 N 133.5485 E)

Day 17 : 23 April 2009


Another perfect early morning to set off through the quiet streets of Kochi and into the countryside again, through forest and past a Botanical Gardens to Temple 31 Chikurinji (Bamboo Forest Temple) where a man handed us his gold name card, which meant that he had done the pilgrimage between 50 and 99 times.  The shady grounds were covered with a bright green moss.  We were given a sweet by another walking henro and were on our way.


There was a bit of panic when I looked back and Jeff was nowhere to be seen.  I had turned down some steps while he had walked straight on with his head down.  We eventually found each other.


Near Sejido-ike Pond was a little shed where a lady was making lunch boxes.  We indicated that we wanted 2 and she let us try everything before adding it to the box.  When she found out we were from Australia, she began screaming with delight, telling us something we didn’t understand and added a bit more food, as well as giving us 2 pieces of fried fish.  We gave her one of our name cards for the Temples, which she put on a different wall of her shop than all the other name cards already there.  The lunch was delicious, enough for dinner as well.


There was another climb to Temple 32 Zenjibuji (Temple of Chan Masters Peak).


There was a free ferry ride across Urado-wan Bay, then a short walk to Temple 33 Sekkeiji (Snowy Cliff Temple) where we were given permission to sleep the night in the free accommodation in the Temple grounds.


After the Temple closed, a few locals came to prey.  We chatted with Fumie Kachi, a 76 year old lady who spoke perfect English and had been in Nebraska USA where I had gone to school.


On dusk, a 74 year old walking henro arrived looking for somewhere to sleep but was hesitant to use the free place as we were there.  Jeff assured him it was big enough for us all and received a big hug in return.  We shared our food at dinner and again at breakfast.  He was very fit and said he had walked the Camino Santiago in Spain.  He was doing the 1200 kilometres in 45 days (we took 56).  He was putting up way marking stickers as he went along.

(33.5005 N 133.5431 E)

Day 18 : 24 April 2009


Our henro friend, after doing his morning exercises was off before we had packed up.


We walked on minor roads through picturesque countryside, the farms with their rice paddies bigger now.


Temple 34 Tanemaji (Sowing Seed Temple)


Temple 35 Kiyotakiji (Clean Waterfall Temple) is located high up on a hill, so we had the usual steep climb through shady forest to reach it.  On arrival a fruit seller gave us some oranges.  We chatted with and had our photo taken with people visiting the Temple, including a retired English teacher and his wife who walk up to the Temple every day for exercise.


We soon found ourselves back on the coast and stopped at a beautiful park by a sandy beach under the Usa-Ohashi Bridge to put up the tent for the night (a favourite).  As we ate our dinner, we watched the fishing boats going out for the night.

(33.439 N 133.4415 E)

Day 19 : 25 April 2009


It was another very wet day.  We packed up in the rain and set off early.  It didn’t look like the rain was going to stop any time soon.


We were very close to Temple 36 Shoryuji (Temple of the Blue Green Dragon)


We walked for many kilometres high above the ocean on a cliff top road through the lush vegetation of the Yokonami Peninsula; at times we could see the dramatic coastline on both sides.  There was no place to stop for a rest out of the rain so we walked and walked and walked.


By the time we reached Susaki City, the rain had stopped.  We could not find anywhere to camp in the long, spread out city so opted for the Business Hotel Marutomi (near the Tosa-Shinjo railway station).  The hot bath was a luxury before we went out to sample the local Nabeyaki Ramen, served in a stoneware bowl with a raw egg on top, delicious.

(33.387 N 133.2795 E)

Day 20 : 26 April 2009


Within an hour we were climbing steeply through shady pines and bamboo.  When we reached the pass, an icy wind forced us to cut our rest short.  A wide path meandered down the other side, soft underfoot from the fallen leaves.


In Tosa-Kure, we made a detour to the lively fish market.


In the afternoon we had another steep climb and it took some time looking for somewhere to sleep.  We enquired at a convenience store.  They gave us a bottle of ice tea and told us to go on to the next town.


Tired, we put up our tent on a little piece of flat ground beside a railway station that smelled of urine, a cold wind blowing forced us to eat and go to bed early.  The station would have also been suitable as the doors could be closed, but trains arrived and left through the night and we wouldn’t have had much sleep.

(33.245 N 133.1613 E)

Day 21 : 27 April 2009


We woke up to 4 degrees, got into our thermal underwear and had our coffee in the tent.


Temple 37 Iwamotoji (Rocky Root Temple) where we were given 2 cans of hot coffee by the stamp office, which we were very grateful for.  Jeff had a lesson in chanting the Heart Sutra.


While we were resting near a house with many statues and shrines, the owner emerged with 2 bananas and a cold 2 litre bottle of ice tea for us.  We filled our small bottle, choosing not to carry the lot.


On Highway 56, we wound down through the mountains to the coast once more and set up camp in a lovely park near Saga-Koen Railway Station, high above the sea with picnic table and toilets nearby - a lovely spot.

(33.0658 N 133.108 E)

Day 22 : 28 April 2009


After a brilliant sunrise, we walked all morning along the scenic coastline.


We stopped early in the afternoon at the Hotel Kokomo near Nakamura Railway Station in Shimanto City.  Here we sampled a different type of okonomiyaki.

(32.9816 N 132.9452 E)

Day 23 : 29 April 2009


After a delicious Japanese breakfast at the hotel we left the city, heading south along the banks of the Shimantogawa River on a grassy path.


The way marks then took us inland and through a 1620 metre long tunnel, eerily dark in places where the lights were out, then down into a narrow valley, bright green with rice plants.


Back on the coast again, we arrived at a long, wide surf beach where we camped next to some surfers.  The icy cold water felt wonderful on our tired, sore feet.  We enjoyed freshly shelled peas, bought earlier at a roadside stall with our ramen dinner.

(32.8248 N 132.9488 E)

Day 24 : 30 April 2009


Heading down towards Cape Ashizurimisaki, we were pleasantly surprised that our way marks took us off the car road to walk along the waters edge at times, then into dense forest to cross many streams by log bridges.


We enjoyed a rest at a comfortable stop that someone had set up beside the road.


We arrived at Temple 38 Kongofukuji (Temple of Everlasting Happiness) early in the afternoon, a very large Temple complex with a pond in the centre.  The trees are stunted from the wind and weather of the cape.


At the stamp office Jeff was given a lucky henro charm.  He had lost his lucky frog the day before.  A thoughtful man seeing me sitting further away bought the same charm and came over to give it to me as well as 2 packets of biscuits.


The Ashizurimisaki Lighthouse nearby stands 70 metres above the ocean.


We decided to continue around the cape via the longer route instead of backtracking as those on limited time were doing, we were in no hurry and wanted to see all of Shikoku that we could.


We were setting up our tent in a grassy park near a rest hut high above the ocean when henro David arrived.  He had found Jeff’s lucky frog and returned it.


We had a prime position for sunset viewing.

(32.7301 N 132.9972 E)

Day 25 : 01 May 2009


Following the coast, we passed many little fishing ports.


We stopped at one of the few official camping grounds at Tatsukushi, where the coastline has amazing rock formations.

(32.7885 N 132.8593 E)

Day 26 : 02 May 2009


Rounding the southwest coast, we had more dramatic ocean views, passing another lighthouse and more fishing ports.


In one of the villages, squid was being dried along the roadside.  A lady grilling some cut off a small piece for each of us to try.


We saw men with dogs fishing from barren rocks offshore and wondered how they got there.


We then turned north onto an old, shaded path, passing some Hyoseki-ancient stones that marked the route.  Jeff became very excited as they still bore old inscriptions.


The only other henro we saw was a disabled man on this very difficult section.


We found a disused sports ground behind a michi no eki to put up our tent.

(32.8298 N 132.7101 E)

Day 27 : 03 May 2009


We took advantage of small bags of grapefruit at a roadside stall and quickly devoured all 4 of them.  Normally the bags are too big for us to manage.  A little later we received 2 more as osettai and some oranges.


One of the rest huts was a reconstruction of a hamada no tomariya - a raised wooden hut from early 1900.


We had intended to get a hotel room so we could walk up to the next Temple and back without packs but it was golden week, the week everyone has holidays so every hotel in town was full.


Never mind.  Packs on, we set off for Temple 39 Enkoji (Emitting Light Temple) scanning for a place to camp on the way back.  We reached this Temple via a bamboo forest.  At the Temple 2 ladies were handing out tea and biscuits to weary henro.


We found a lovely spot on a riverbank with a nearby bridge for shelter just before re entering the city.

(32.9361 N 132.7325 E)

Day 28 : 04 May 2009


We woke to the sound of rain on the tent.  Luckily we were near the bridge and could cook breakfast and pack up out of the rain.


We soon found ourselves on a path, high above the town, walking in heavy rain gear through dark forest.  The path became steeper and by the time we reached the top of the hill we were saturated from sweat, not rain.


At the top we entered Ehime Prefecture.


Temple 40 Kanjizaiji (Temple of the Kannon).  We were given oranges and some postcards of the Temple.


We found a park a short way from the Temple to put up the tent.  It had a table under a pergola covered with flowering wisteria.  Jeff, taking advantage of a nearby shop and not having to carry heavy food, came back with dumplings, udon and a massive jug of beer. 

(32.964 N 132.5519 E)

Day 29 : 05 May 2009


The first 10 kilometres were on the road but we were rewarded at the end by stunning views of the offshore islands, the many coastal inlets and the fish farming of picturesque Uchiumi Village where we stopped for a second breakfast of ramen at a small restaurant.


The pain at the bottom of our feet from constant pounding on the road soon disappeared when we began the climb, through forest to 470 metres, thankfully more gentle than the day before.


We had seen a lot more walking henro in this golden week.  Many people walk part of the pilgrimage each year on their annual holiday and over the years complete the circuit.


At the top we stopped to talk to 3 people doing maintenance work on the path.


The rest of the day was off the road, descending into a narrow valley where we saw old rice terraces made of dry stonewalls.


We stopped at Tsushima Rest Hut and with the table on its side to block out the wind; we spent a comfortable night on the benches.

(33.0963 N 132.516 E)

Day 30 : 06 May 2009


We began the day on a pleasant pathway beside a river, separated from the road by trees.  We were surprised that the time went by so quickly.


We made a detour to walk through the prettiest little village of Tsushima on the other side of the river with its old wooden houses, built with first floor balconies and unusual windows.  We appreciated it so much more being fresh in the early morning, as in the afternoon, tired we may have bypassed it.


When the road reached a long tunnel through the mountain, our path took us off to the left 200 metres over the top, passing a henro hut.  Why take the easy way when you can take the hard one?


We did not regret it as we were once again plunged into cool, inviting forest, climbing beside a stream with a small waterfall.  The leaf-strewn path was dappled with light filtering through the trees and wild irises were just starting to flower.


We arrived in Uwajima early.  Being Golden Week, the only hotel we could get, Hotel Clement at the railway station, was expensive.


After an hours soak in the bath, we set off to find the laundry, which consisted of coin washers and dryers in someone’s garage.  We were finding that we didn’t sleep as good in a bed any more as on the ground.


We are not very adventurous as far as Japanese meals go so it was okonomiyaki again for dinner.

(32.2258 N 132.5677 E)

Day 31 : 07 May 2009


We stayed in Uwajima to do a bit of sightseeing without packs.  The castle is 400 years old and still original. 


Uwajima has bullfights, but here the bulls fight each other.


We slowly ascended to Temple 41 Ryukoji (Dragon’s Ray Temple) at 210 metres.


Temple 42 Butsumokuji (Temple of Buddha’s Tree) was close by.


We decided to stop here for the night and save the climbing for the next day.  We found that we could put up the tent inside a shelter shed; there was no other flat ground.

(33.3103 N 132.5814 E)

Day 32 : 08 May 2009



We were congratulating ourselves for not getting lost so far when we somehow misread the map and found ourselves walking west uphill instead of north downhill. 


We were following signposts in Japanese, thinking we would still end up at the right place.  How wrong we were.  After an hour we turned around, only to find the correct way marks a little further on.  It was a lovely mountain path with stunning views so the extra 8 kilometres was not so bad.


We stopped for lunch at a restaurant where we had to cook our own udon before Temple 43 Meisekiji (Brilliant Stone Temple).


The tent went up for the night in a sports field in Seiyo City.

(33.3754 N 132.5052 E)

Day 33 : 09 May 2009


Jeff was surprised by a 10 cm centipede in his boot that morning.


We admired the beautifully kept gardens in front of the old houses as walked past, but the highlight of the day was the 200 metre ascent and descent on old footpath, through shady woods.  No tunnel for us.  We were passed by another happy henro, singing.


In Ozu City, a man on a bicycle stopped to give us osettai of Y1000.  We are humbled by such generosity.


Another man, walking in the same direction, crossed the road to a convenience store where he purchased 2 bottles of cold water and returned to give them to us.


We spent the night in the free accommodation of Toyogahashi Temple.


There is a statue under a bridge here of Kobo Daishi sleeping.  It is believed that he is asleep under bridges so pilgrims must not use their walking sticks when crossing in case of waking him.


Two other young henro arrived to share the room.

(33.5317 N 132.5747 E)

Day 34 : 10 May 2009


We shared coffee and breakfast with Masa and Araki before setting off.  Masa’s shoes were falling apart and held together with tape.  Araki had bad blisters but both were determined and planned to walk a lot further than us that day.


The rice in this area hadn’t been planted yet.  We passed a large group of men and women of all ages, clearing out the water channels in preparation.


A lovely, grassy path led us into Uchiko where there are many antique buildings.  Yasukuki and Sanae Onishi invited us into their 150 year old home which was also a shop selling hand made kimonos for a look around and a cup of tea.


In the afternoon we followed beside the Oda-gawa River, which looked cool and inviting.  A man was grilling fish beside the road.


While we were resting, a car stopped and a lady purchased 2 bottles if ice tea from a vending machine then crossed the road to give them to us.  We are thankful for all we receive.


Little villages hug the hillsides of this narrow valley.  We could not find un occupied flat ground to put up the tent so opted for a bus shelter, a cute little log cabin, open at the front.  There was no bus due till lat the following morning so we closed the entrance with a ground sheet and slept on the floor.


We had a call from Katie and Chantelle for Mother’s Day and enjoyed a bottle of Japanese wine (Tokachi) that we had carried all day.

(33.5758 N 132.7258 E)

Day 35 : 11 May 2009


We were sitting in our bus stop having breakfast when a car henro stopped to chat.  He left us with oranges and some hand painted post cards of henro walking.


We continued, snaking up the ever-narrowing valley beside the river, ascending gradually.


We had been told we could go to Temple 45 first, then Temple 44 but a woman came out of her house while we were resting and was adamant that we go to number 44 first, making closed gestures with her arms.  Thinking she meant the road was closed ahead, we followed her advice.  She gave us Y400 each as osettai.


As the gradient got steeper our pace slowed, eventually to 2 kph to cross a 790metre pass.


We descended to Kuma-kogen Town, where we put the tent up in a park opposite the Kuma Museum of Art.

(33.6636 N 132.9076 E)

Day 36 : 12 May 2009


First thing in the morning we visited Temple 44 Daihoji (Temple of Great Treasure), built on a steep slope among huge, old trees.  It has huge straw sandals in front that are re made every 100 years.


We continued on minor roads and shady forest paths with the inevitable climbing and descending.  We saw many little statues on the way.


A huge, fierce red statue stood guard near a tall split rock.


We entered Temple 45 Iwayaji (Temple of the Rocky Cave) by descending through the old, original entrance gate.  The Temple is partially built into a cliff face.


We followed a narrow, shady path away from the Temple, beside a stream and among huge rock formations to rejoin our route of the morning, only to camp in the same spot as the night before.

(33.6636 N 132.9076 E)

Day 37 : 13 May 2009


From a height of 500 metres we continued up a wide fertile valley, passing farmers planting their rice with little machines.


We left the road to climb over a pass of 710 metres in thick cloud, followed by hours of steep downhill to below 100 metres and the outskirts of Matsuyama.


Temple 46 Joruriji (Pure Emerald Temple) is one of the smaller Temples.  In the grounds is a tree said to be more than 1000 years old as well as a hand and footprint stone of Buddha.


Next was Temple 47 Yasakaji (Temple of Eight Slopes).


Temple 48 Sairinji (West Forest Temple).


A young girl insisted I take her crucifix pendant and gave us bottles of holy water from Jonofuchi Park.  Another henro camping at the park, as we did, gave us lucky sandals charms.

(33.7923 N 132.8107 E)

Day 38 : 14 May 2009


You can buy anything from vending machines, even fresh eggs.


We only had a short walk into Matsuyama, visiting Temple 49 Jodoji (Pure Land Temple) set in bamboo forest.


Temple 50 Hantaji (Temple of Great Prosperity).  Its bell was made in 1696.


Temple 51 Ishiteji (Stone Hand Temple), is a very large complex, and second busiest of the 88 Temples.


A newly married couple emerged as we passed.


We stayed at the Matsuyama Youth Hostel on a hill near Dogo Onsen in a large tatami room.  It was a good location.

(33.8495 N 132.7904 E)

Day 39 : 15 May 2009


We had a rest day in Matsuyama with its castle on the hill.


The streets of Dogo, around the onsen are full of tourist in their brightly coloured bathrobes and wooden sandals from the various hotels in the area, just out their bath and doing a bit of shopping.


A specialty here is a dish with 5 different coloured noodles.  We chose ramen, twice at the same little restaurant.  We spent a second night at the Matsuyama Youth Hostel.

(33.8495 N 132.7904 E)

Day 40 : 16 May 2009


After 3 hours walking we arrived at Temple 52 Taisanji (Big Mountain Temple) in a lofty setting on a hill.  The main Temple was built in 1305.


We were soon at Temple 53 Enmyoji (Temple of Circular Illumination), with its pretty buildings of brown timber and contrasting white panelling. 


There is a carved statue of Mary, disguised, which was secretly worshipped by Christians.


From the north west coast, we turned inland and camped for the night at Bunka-no-mori Park.

(33.9566 N 132.779 E)

Day 41 : 17 May 2009


We followed the coastline around to the east on this wet, dreary day.  There was nowhere to sit out of the rain, so we had to eat our lunch sitting on the curb outside a supermarket at 10am during a break in the rain.


Another henro gave us some chocolates, which cheered us up.


As we were plodding along, heads down, a car approached us from behind.  A kind lady handed us home made sushi and a bottle of warm tea.  It was very much appreciated and lifted our spirits.


We passed a procession, which apparently included acrobatic performances - a festival to celebrate of the spring.


We stopped for the night at a park right on the beach just before Onishi.  The rain continued with strong winds into the night.


Another noisy procession passed.  Many men dressed in white, were carrying a large, brightly coloured, heavy shrine.  They appeared quite drunk, weaving in and out of the traffic on the main highway.

(34.0629 N 132.9092 E)

Day 42 : 18 May 2009


The bell at Temple 54 Enmeiji (Temple of Long Life) dates back to 1704.


A group of bus henro walked ahead of us to the next Temple.


Temple 55 Nankobo (Temple of Southern Lights) is a large Temple complex in the middle of Imabari City.


Temple 56 Taisanji (Peace Mountain Temple)


Temple 57 Eifukuji (Temple of Good Luck)


A car pulled up behind us as we were leaving a Temple and handed us each a hand towel (blue for Jeff and pink for me).  One of the rare walking female henro made us a little origami swan and we received a ginger sweet from another henro.


A group on bus henro was fascinated by us and wanted their photo taken with us.


We made a short but very steep climb up to Temple 58 Senyuji (Hermit in Seclusion Temple), where we received a lovely post card.


We spent the night in the free Temple accommodation with 2 other henro.

(34.0129 N 132.9769 E)

Day 43 : 19 May 2009


We attended the 6am chanting service at the Temple, after which we shared coffee with Taku and Yoshi.  (Taku was the henro who had written the note for us to be able to buy petrol for our stove many weeks ago)


Back downhill we arrived at Temple 59 Kokubunji (Official State Temple) where there is a statue of Kobo Daishi that one can shake hands with.  We received a washcloth each as osettai.


Trying to stretch out our walking time, we stopped early at a beautiful quiet beach a few kilometres off our route in Seto Naikai National Park.  We had quite a hike downhill, only to find that we were supposed to pay for a campsite at the hotel up top.  A kind man drove Jeff back up.


Such a lovely spot and not another person around.

(33.9863 N 133.0632 E)

Day 44 : 20 May 2009


We emerged from the tent in the morning to see the red sun slowly rising over the Seto Inland Sea.


Walking through the flat farmland on the outskirts of Saijo City, we grew ever nearer to the high mountain range, which was to be the next day’s target.


We stopped for the night at a henro hut on the way to the next Temple and slept on the benches.  No other henro sited all day.

(33.8621 N 133.0792 E)

Day 45 : 21 May 2009


From 70 metres to 780 metres we went.  When the road ran out, our path continued into the forest, more steeply, beside a stream, crossing it many times on little bridges.  We were glad that we had slept at the base of the mountain; being fresh we could appreciate the beauty more.


After a couple of hours we reached Temple 60 Yokomineji (Peak Temple), the most difficult to reach.  The slopes surrounding the Temple grounds were covered in pink flowering rhododendrons.


The descent was more gradual.  At Shirataki Okunoin Shrine, we saw 3 statues in a creek, guarding a waterfall.


We were surprised at Temple 61 Kouonji (Temple of the Incense Garden) to see large modern concrete buildings as opposed to the traditional wooden style.


Temple 62 Hojuji (Temple of Wealth and Happiness) has the oldest stone monument of the whole pilgrimage, but we couldn’t ask anyone which one it was.


Temple 63 Kichijoji (Temple of Mahasri).


On the way we received some biscuits from a lady on a motorbike, a small cake each from another henro, and 2 more cakes further on.


We also stopped at a little rest area set up outside a shop and made ourselves a coffee there.  Nearby a henro rested after having climbed the highest mountain in western Japan, considered sacred.


Thinking that was enough for the day, we headed for Saijo Seibu Park.  Before we could set up our tent, an official looking man arrived to tell us we could not camp there.


We caught the train into Saijo City to find somewhere to sleep, as it was windy and threatening to rain.  Another henro waiting for his train bought us a soft drink from a vending machine.  As the wind and rain pelted the windows of the Saijo City Station Hotel, we were glad of our decision.

(33.9126 N 133.1864 E)

Day 46 : 22 May 2009


After a delicious Japanese breakfast we caught the train back to where we ended the day before.


We walked on to Temple 64 Maegamiji (The Front God Temple).


Our path skirted Saijo City and Niihama City parallel to the main road on flat farming land close to the mountains.


While resting we were given 2 oranges and sweet by a bike rider.


There were not many resting huts any more but one, which was made out of bits of everything and looked like a home handyman job, was very welcoming.


We stopped at Yamane Park, where we met Sarah who was teaching English at a school nearby.  We were told there was no camping in the park but found a grassy spot down river with a clean portable toilet and picnic table nearby.

(33.9268 N 133.3108 E)

Day 47 : 23 May 2009


After walking through farmlands, where rice was sometimes planted by hand, our pace slowed as we plodded along the suburban streets in the heat of the day.


We met a bike henro today.


We stopped at Togawa Park for the night and found a nice flat spot for the tent.  Beer is available in all sizes from vending machines.

(33.9741 N 133.5664 E)

Day 48 : 24 May 2009


We began climbing from the very start through dark, steamy forest to Temple 65 Sankakuji (Triangular Temple) in a beautiful lush setting.


We meandered downhill passing terraced fields, stoping a Bangai Temple where we saw a happy little statue with the biggest penis.


Along the way we were given a packet of little cakes at a shop and some chocolate buns by a passing motorist.


It was a long slow ascent to910 metres, the highest of the Temples, Temple 66 Unpenji (Temple of Hovering Clouds).  It can also be reached by cable car.  There are 500 strange, life size statues in the Temple surrounds.


We met another female henro who was continuing on that day.


We stayed in the free Temple accommodation, a large comfortable room with tatami mats for sleeping and an adjoining area with tables and chairs for eating.


At 4.30pm the Temple staff left the mountain on the last cable car of the day and by 5pm a thick fog rolled in.  The strange figures looked weirder in the mist, their eyes seemed to be following you.


Yamadaki, a fit 68 year old henro, arrived late to share the tsuyado.  There were no lights so we all went to bed at 6pm.

(34.0359 N 133.7243 E)

Day 49 : 25 May 2009


The mountain was still covered in cloud as we began the slow, steep descent.  We soon entered Kagawa prefecture.


At Temple 67 Daikoji (Temple of the Great Growth) there is a tree said to have been planted by Kobo Daishi in 822.


In Kagawa Town is Temple 68 Jinnein (Temple of God’s Grace) and Temple 69 Kanonji (The Temple of the Kannon), both in the same grounds.


We were given permission to put up our tent there in front of a little shop once the Temple closed for the day.

(34.1344 N 133.6478 E)

Day 50 : 26 May 2009


The day began with a pleasant early morning walk along the banks of the Saitagawa River, overgrown in parts to Temple 70 Motoyamaji (Headquarters Temple).  Its pagoda was visible many kilometres away.  The main hall is a national treasure.


We reached Temple 71 Iyadaniji (Eight Valley Temple) by climbing many steps.  The main Temple is built into the hillside with a cave containing statues.  The other buildings occupy different levels.


Temple 72 Mandaraji (Mandala Temple)


Temple 73 Shusshakaji (Temple of Shaka Nyorai’s Appearance)


Temple 74 Koyamaji (Armor Mountain Temple)


Temple 75 Zentsuji (Right Path Temple).  This is the largest of the Temples, a vast complex of buildings with a large pagoda.


We were given a loaf of bread as osettai from a bread shop.


We camped out of sight in a little park near the Temple parking lot for the night.

(34.2244 N 133.7717 E)

Day 51 : 27 May 2009


We had another stroll around Temple 75 in the early morning before the crowds.


Temple 76 Konzoji (Golden Storehouse Temple)


Temple 77 Doryuji (Temple of the Arising Way) We were given a can of juice as osettai here and biscuits from a group of bus henro.


Temple 78 Goshoji (Temple of Illuminating Local Site)


Temple 79 Tennoji (Emperor’s Temple) has a shrine next to it.


We walked on back lanes, passing people going about their daily life on the farms and city streets.


We were planning to use a rest hut up ahead to sleep.  It turned out to be a most welcoming place for henro to rest, but in some ones back yard, complete with outdoor toilet and a fridge full of cold ice tea and oranges.  This man must have been a henro himself.  He had even places 3 tatami mats under a nearby bridge for henro to sleep on.


That is where we camped.

(34.3039 N 133.9107 E)

Day 52 : 28 May 2009


Strong gusts of wind during the night blew over our tent twice.  We had to use pipes from a nearby construction site to secure it.


(Temple 80 Kokubunji (The Official State Temple)


It was a nice jungle path that led us to Temple 81 Shiromineji (White Peak Temple)


Temple 82 Negoroji (Fragrant Root Temple)


From a plateau high above Takamatsu we made our way downhill in the rain.


We camped under another bridge just outside the city.  Cold and wet, we crawled into the tent for an early night.

(34.2981 N 134.012 E)

Day 53 : 29 May 2009


We arrived at Temple 83 Ichinomiyaji (First Shrine Temple), a small compact Temple complex, as it opened.  The Y300 stamp fee was waived for us as osettai.


It was then on to Takamatsu City and the Dormy Inn Hotel for a much needed bath.  We enjoyed the 11th floor onsen while the clothes were washing.

(34.341 N 134.0502 E)

Day 54 : 30 May 2009


We took a rest day in Takamatsu.


Sanuki Udon is the specialty here and we ate it at every opportunity, not quite mastering the slurp everyone around us was doing.


We ate okonomiyaki again at a tiny diner so busy that cabbage and batter was flying everywhere.  That one was our favourite.

(34.341 N 134.0501 E)

Day 55 : 31 May 2009


Back on the road again, all clean and rested, we soon found ourselves climbing again to Temple 84 Yashimaji (Roof Island Temple).  It has 2 gates leading to the main hall, which is a national treasure.


Temple 85 Yakuriji (Eight Chestnuts Temple) is set among dramatic cliffs.


Downhill again, we arrived at Temple 86 Shidoji (Temple of Fulfilling One’s Wish).  Our wish was not fulfilled, they would not let us camp in the parking lot of the Temple, instead told us to go back 2.5 kilometres and camp at the Michi no eki.


We did this, set up our tent and were cooking dinner, when an official arrived to tell us we could not camp.  Maybe that is what the sign in Japanese says.  We hastily packed everything up and caught a train back into Takamatsu and the Dormy Inn Hotel for another night.

(34.3369 N 134.0477 E)

Day 56 : 01 June 2009


On an early morning train we returned to Temple 86, walking on to Temple 87 Nagaoji (Long Tail Temple).


It was then on to our final Temple.  We stopped at a very friendly henro information centre and museum where we received a certificate for walking and a badge in the form of a waymark.  We were given a cup of tea and various other goodies to take with us.


There is a large relief model of the island of Shikoku, which shows how mountainous it really is.


We headed steeply up hill.  It was a relief to once again be in forest after many weeks of urban walking.


Temple 88 Okuboji (Temple of the Large Hollow) is set among rugged hills, its old gardens lush and green.

(10302 gardens)


There are many walking sticks, left here by henro who have finished their long journey.  We were walking back to Temple 1 to complete the circle so chose to keep ours for a while longer.


We received a large box of red bean filled cakes near the Temple.


The Temple office gave us permission .to camp at the bus stop outside.  We asked the shop owners nearby as well just to make sure.  It was ok with them as well.  One shop owner brought over a bowl of sweet beans, which strangely enough went well with beer.


After 5pm when the shops shut, we set up the tent under the bus shelter.

(34.1903 N 134.2064 E)

Day 57 : 02 June 2009


A lady arrived at 6am to clean the toilets.  We borrowed her broom to sweep up our area.  We were about to give her some of our sweet cakes when she gave us more.


The road was deserted as we wound downhill in the quiet early morning, the silence only broken by a group of screeching monkeys.


We entered Tokushima prefecture once more, heading south out of the mountains, then east towards Temple 10.  A lady came out of her house with an ice tea for us.


From Temple 10 we followed our path of 2 months before in reverse order.  At Temple 9 we stopped for handmade udon in a little restaurant and were given some steamed sweet potato as osettai.


While resting at the Temple Jeff was boasting to 3 women about how far his walking stick had worn down.  With that they each produced theirs, which were much shorter.  They had done the pilgrimage 2 times.  We all laughed.


At Temple 8 we stayed in the same little hut in the parking lot.

(34.1213 N 134.339 E)

Day 58 : 03 June 2009


Feeling sad that it was the last day of our journey, we set off in the rain walking in silence.


We arrived back at Temple 1 Ryozenji (Spirit Mountain Temple) after walking almost 1200 kilometres.


The last entry in our book.


We will always remember the kindness of the Shikoku people, their warm friendly smiles and polite bowing, from the little bent up old ladies in the fields, the school children, the other henro to ordinary people in the street.



After Temple 1, we returned by train to Tokushima where we spent a few days staying in the Toyoko Inn business hotel relaxing and contemplating our pilgrimage.


Tokushima is famous for its puppet theatre, which we enjoyed.


One last okonomiyaki – do it yourself.



We wanted to continue Koyasan, on Honshu, the headquarters of Shingon Buddhism and resting place of Kobo Daishi.  Traditionally henro go to Koyasan to give thanks for a safe pilgrimage.


We had heard that the Kumano Kodo would lead from the coast on Honshu to Koyasan, so full of blissful ignorance we took the ferry from Tokushima to Wakayama, then a train to Kii Tanabe on the western coast of the Kii peninsula, then a bus to Takijiri-oji and started walking.


It slowly dawned on us that this was not really the way to Koyasan, although such a walk would be possible, it would be very difficult and one would need to carry food and water for 4 days.


But, it turned out to be a World Heritage walk of considerable cultural and spiritual significance and perhaps the most beautiful walk we have done, hard too.  So we walked for 4 days via Kumano Hongu Taisha to Kii Katsuura the eastern coast.  Here is a slide show of the walk (sorry - pictures only, no story).  Kumano Kodo


You can find out more about Kumano Kodo here:




Well there is a way that you can walk at least part of the way from Wakayama to Koyasan.  It is via the Koyasan’s Choishi Stupa Route.  However we finished the Kumano Kodo exhausted and wet, not feeling much like another day’s climb so we took the train instead.  The train runs up a pretty valley and then a cable car takes you to Koyasan.  Here’s a slide show Koyasan (again pictures only)


(For more information on Koyasan and maps: 



If you are interested in Nara (Japan’s original capital) or Kyoto: