What do you need for the Shikoku Pilgrimage?
Wears and Goods
This shows you the traditional style.
You don't need to take all in the list below to your journey.
|Sugegasa||coned sedge hat. This is useful as both a sunshade and a shelter from rain.
TIP: putting a hand towel on your head, you can secure it. The print “Dogyo Ninin or a practice by two” on it, suggesting that you journey under the protection of Kukai, come to the front.
|Hakui||white jacket worn by a pilgrim. At the centre of back it is emblazoned “南無大師遍照金剛” (the Buddhist name of Kukai). This pilgrimage is a journey to trace Kukai's asceticism. So, regardless of your religion, you are supposed to wear this white jacket.|
|Juzu||the Buddhist rosary. This is an essential object in the pilgrimage as it purifies your body and soul, and guides you to become the believer of Buddha. TIP: Hold it with your left hand and bring the largest bead at the top. This is not for neck.|
|Jirei||bell hanged from a Zudabukuro or cloth sack as a charm again evils.|
|Zudabukuro/Sanyabukuro||cloth sack containing the pilgrimage goods, e.g. stamp book, sutra book, the Buddhist rosary, candles, incenses, etc.|
|Wagesa||purple scarf worn around the neck. It's an informal type of monk's stole and here regarded as the symbol of a religious pilgrim.
TIP: At rest, you are required to take it off. Then, do NOT put it on ground. You have to place it on a table or seat.
|Kongotsue||walking stick. This is designed as the incarnation of Kukai. On it says “Dogyo Ninin or A Practice by Two” in the meaning of “you are always with Kukai and protected all the way through the Shikoku pilgrimage, even when travelling alone”.|
|Osamefuda||Nameslips. On it you can write your name, address, date of visit and wishes. As you come to a temple, you dedicate one slip to both Mail Hall and Taishi Hall.
Also, it is used as the pilgrim's namecard and as to show your appreciation for somebody's Osettai (hospitality services) and Zenkon (charity lodgings).
TIP: In the attempt to complete the Shikoku pilgrimage in a journey, you need two bundles of nameslips. You can get them ready in advance.
There is a colour variation of nameslips: white is for the first rounds to forth; blue for fifth to seventh; red for eighth to 24th; silver for 25th to 49th; and gold for 50th to 99th!!
|Nokyocho||Stamp book. Ask the temple monk or officer for stamps AFTER you give a prayer at Mail Hall and Taishi Hall.|
|Kyohon||Sutra book holding a volume of sutras, inc. Heart Sutra, essential to the pilgrimage. Some are written in Hiragana, the easy Japanese character.|
You can purchase these wears and goods near the initial temple Ryozanji.
Now it's available to get them at an online store: EICHI-KAI(詠智会 in Japanese).
The following goods are necessaries for walking pilgrims.
Additionally, you have to care about your stamina and health conditions.
|shoes||Gore-Tex shoes or waterproofed trekking shoes are the best to wear. You can tie the strips firmly. TIP: Do NOT put on new ones.|
|socks||Reduce exhaustions in feet and avoid shoe sores by wearing thicker or double socks.|
|Rucksack||in the size of 30- 35L as you carry five to ten kilograms.|
|Sleeping Bag||lighter and smaller on fold is better.|
|Belt Bag||or Zudabukuro (cloth sack).|
|Rain wears||mountaineering ones are good, separated to top and bottom and well designed for walking. It's useful to have a folding umbrella too.|
|Hat||or Sugegasa (sedge hat).|
|Clothing||You can wash the laundry at accommodation. So, it's better to carry a smaller amount of clothing.|
|Compass||just in case you get lost. Usually, not necessary.|
|First Aid Pack||
|Torch||a head- banded type is convenient.|
|Pocket Knife||for cooking and first aid.|
|Guidebook and Map||‘Shikoku Japan 88 Route Guide'is highly recommended.|
|Toiletries||for the locations, e.g. on the mountains, away from bathrooms.|
|Travel Insurance Packs||
|Mobile and Battery||