Here, we will tell you how to go on a pilgrimage to the Shikoku 88 temples.
There are various ways for the pilgrimage.
The traditional way is a walking pilgrimage.
But, you can use cars, bikes and public transportations according to your conditions.
To endure the stress of constant walking, good physical fitness and stamina are required.
Time & Cost
|On foot||45days/ 300,000yen (estimating 30km a day)|
|By bike||25days/ 200,000yen (estimating 55km a day)|
|By bus & train||10days/ 250,000yen|
|By car||10days/ 250,000yen|
These are standard models. Due to the circumstances of your journey, e.g. course, accommodation, weather, etc., the estimated time and cost must vary.
Autumn and spring are the best seasons for the walking pilgrimage.
But, mind you: at those times every place will be crowded e.g. less vacancy in accommodations and long queues for stamp office. It might ruin the tranquilities you expect on the pilgrimage.
In summer, you are advised to avoid the rainy season and typhoons. Walk from early morning: during the daytime, it will be really hot and scorching. Take water and breaks, and please care your health.
In winter, you will meet fewer pilgrims, which would be good for self realisation in silence. Please keep warm. And, check the availabilities of accommodations beforehand as some are closed in this period.
Around each temple, there are places to stay e.g. inns and the Japanese hotels.
But, generally at those places, English is less understood.
Some temples provide free lodging called "Tsuyado".
You should book a room in advance.
Types of Accommodation
|a house of the ordinary who kindly put a henro(s) up for a night for free.
They think that henros (pilgrims) are the incarnation of Kukai and take an ascetic journey for them as well.
So, they willingly approach henros to help. Please pay your respects to the landlords or landladies.
Keep clean the rooms.
|run by families or local businesses.|
|the Japanese hotels
|in the traditional style.|
|the Western style of Hotels|
|monk’s dormitory offered for henros. You can participate in the nightly or morning rituals, and the monk’s lectures on the stay.|
or your safety, it is advisable to limit the amount of cash carried on your pilgrimage.
You can use international bank cards at ATMs and change Traveller’s Checks at authorized banks in cities.
NOTE: Not all ATMs have the same operating hours.
Most people would not be able to understand English here.
It is desirable to learn some basic Japanese before the journey, e.g. greetings, vocabularies at shopping and restaurants.
But, when one realises that you are a henro (pilgrim), they will do their best to help you.
The language barrier cannot be a matter for a pilgrim!!
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