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 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.