Introduction

Posted in Shikoku Pilgrimage (click on pictures to enlarge)

Map of Shikoku

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.

P1000005On April 07 2009, we set off to walk the 1200 kilometres of this Pilgrimage without knowing 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.

 

Notes:

The GPS cordinates for each night’s resting place is shown at the bottom of each post.  Click here to see these places on Google Earth.

Day 1 : 07 April 2009

Posted in Shikoku Pilgrimage (click on pictures to enlarge)

P1000002

 

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.

P1000205a

 

 

 

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.

P1000010

 

 

 

 

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.

P1000021 P1000011
P1000012 P1000020
P1000015

 

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

P1000022 P1000026 P1000024

 

P1000031

 

 

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)