Shikoku pilgrimage: 15 temples to enlightenment
Follow in the footsteps of the historic Buddhist monk Kukai and undergo an extraordinary experience by traveling the Shikoku Henro Buddhist Pilgrimage!
Experience Shikoku through the lens of unfiltered spirituality with this historic pilgrims route.
Walk through picturesque landscapes, explore ancient temples steeped in history, and experience the hospitality of the locals at charming guesthouses.
This route will leave you with lasting memories and offer you an intimate experience with the spiritual side of Japan.
This excursion allows you to visit 15 temples of the historic Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage's path of awakening, covering a 100 km route on foot within Tokushima Prefecture!
This journey of the pilgrimage is for those looking to connect to the ancient roots of Buddhism and spirituality in Japan, but also those who wish to witness the beautiful natural scenery of Shikoku through nature hikes and other forms of travel!
A challenge of this sort is the ultimate means of achieving an intimate connecting with Japan and its storied spiritual history.
4 days / 3 nights itinerary:
- Departure location: Osaka
- Temple 7 (1 night)
- Temple 19 (1 night)
- Temple 22 (1 night)
- Ending location: Osaka
Please find itinerary details below
Why choose this excursion to Japan?
- Stray off the beaten path and discover Shikoku, one of the main islands of Japan, with this historic route.
- Take part in an incredible Buddhist pilgrimage steeped in history and spirituality.
- Enjoy the stunning scenery and nature of the island and its charming towns that represents the true Japan.
- Fully immerse yourself in the culture of Japan as pilgrims in Shikoku.
- An organized journey with a detailed itinerary throughout the pilgrimage and insight from our Japan travel experts!
Your excursion in detail
Day 1 : Beginning of the pilgrimage
Journey to the island of Shikoku and follow in the footsteps of historic Buddhist monks with the Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage!
On your journey, you'll visit the first 7 temples of the pilgrimage in Tokushima prefecture, Shikoku's gateway to history and tradition.
Discover Ryozen-ji temple! It is here that you'll have access to what is often dubbed "The Pilgrim's Panoply", all the accessories traditionally adorned by pilgrims undergoing the Shikoku Henro that includes a special pilgrims kimono, hat, and a book for collecting stamps at each temple. (Note that these accessories are not included with the excursion package.)
You'll then visit the following temples: Gokuraku-ji Temple, Konsen-ji Temple, Dainichi-ji Temple, Jizo-ji Temple, Anraku-ji Temple and Juraku-ji Temple.
Once you arrive at temple 7, you'll stay in a Shukubo, special accommodation in a Buddhist temple for a signature dinner (included with the excursion) and an overnight stay!
Throughout the days of the pilgrimage, the journey will be made via both public transport, such as train, and on foot, as per traditional customs.
(18km, approximately 3 hours 45 minutes of walking)
Day 2 : An immersion in the heart of ancestral temples
Pilgrims will depart on foot for the rest of the Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage to discover temples 8 to 10.
Make your way to Awa-Kawashima Station to take the train to Tatsue Station (approximately 1h15).
Upon arrival, walk towards temple 19. You'll then head to your guest house, taking a leisurely stroll through the nature-filled countryside of Japan, along the Naka River.
Dinner (included) and overnight in your typical Japanese guest house Via both public transport and on foot (26km, approximately 5.5 hours of walking)
Day 3 : Meet the sacred temples
Discover temples 20 to 22 in the pretty town of Anan, still in Tokushima prefecture! You will fall in love with the charm of this unique place thanks to its magnificent landscape in the east of Shikoku.
Throughout the day, you can stroll along two beautiful Japanese rivers, while discovering sublime green landscapes!
You will sleep in a charming guest house typical of Japan.
Dinner (included) and accommodation in your guest house.
Daily trips on foot (25km, approximately 5h10 walk)
Day 4 : Peaceful exploration, relaxation and return to Osaka
Start the final leg of the pilgrimage with a traditional breakfast at the guest house. Depart on the route for a morning walk to the charming town of Hiwasa, located on the south coast of Shikoku Island. Nestled between the mountains and the sea, it offers a picturesque view of the landscape and a peaceful atmosphere that make it a popular destination for nature lovers and travelers. During this pleasant walk, you'll come across a few surprising places:
-A Shinto shrine where the 83rd Emporer of Japan, Emperor Tsuchimikado, is buried
-A charming little sanctuary
-A humbling memorial
-A Shinto shrine nestled among picturesque landscapes and green mountains.
Once you arrive, you'll visit the last temple of the Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage.
Then enjoy a meal at a local restaurant, followed by some time to relax in a Japanese onsen.
Depart from Hiwasa by bus to return to Osaka at the end of the afternoon to the end the route. (approximately 4 hours)
- 1 night in a Shukubo at Juraku-ji temple 7
- 2 nights in a guest house
The base rate includes a twin room for two people
- The bus trip from Osaka to Narutonishi (on the island of Shikoku)
- The bus ride from Hiwasa to Osaka
Visits and meals
- Half board in all accommodation
Included in your self-guided excursion
- Complete digital travel diary before your departure
- Relaxation session in an Onsen in Hiwasa
- 24/7 telephone support, in English
Not included in the price of your excursion
- Optional insurance
- The train ride from Awa-Kawashima Station to Tatsue on day 2 (on Shikoku Island)
- Personal expenses (including lunches)
- The pilgrim's set at temple 1 (around €100)
- Return trip by cable car to Tairyuji temple
-,The passage stamps in each temple to put in your book will be priced at 300 yen, approximately 2 euros
- Everything that is not in the “included in your tour” section
- Prices displayed on this page may vary depending on the Japanese ¥ exchange rate.
- This circuit is unfortunately not accessible to people with reduced mobility.
- Pets are not allowed.
- Children not accepted.
- This program may be subject to modifications due to circumstances such as weather conditions or any other force majeure. Please note that due to the current situation, any information mentioned is subject to change or adaptation.
Your travel documents will be given to you as follows:
- Travel diary by email before departure
- Paper documents (airport transfer ticket, transport card, Japan Rail Pass voucher) and Pocket WiFi upon arrival at the airport by our airport assistant.
- At least one person participating in the trip must have a valid driving license in their country
- N.B: In rare cases, mainly in very high season, steps may be reversed. You will be informed of this in your mini-travel guide. Thank you for understanding.-
- Some accommodation may ask you for a tourist tax upon arrival. It depends on the cities and even the accommodations, because some do not include it in the cost of the reservation. It generally amounts to ¥200/night/person (around €1.60). It must be paid in cash at reception.
- Single room: People traveling alone and/or wishing to reserve a single room must pay a supplement when booking. Please note that in the event of a single room supplement for an order of more than 2 people, it will be applied in all accommodation except in ryokans (3 and 4*). Indeed, as this is traditional accommodation, people under the same reservation are grouped together in spacious rooms that can accommodate up to 5 people.
- 3 person room: If there are 3, 5 or more of you and you do not select the individual supplement, you will be allocated a triple room.
- As part of a group order (> 5 people), it may be possible, depending on the availability of accommodation, that not all members of the group are accommodated in the same accommodation. The goal, however, is to be close.
- Names of accommodation: The names indicated on the site are given for information only. In the event of unavailability, an establishment of equivalent standard will be scheduled.
- Sleeping in a shukubo: Despite the image sometimes associated with Japanese monasteries, be sure to find a guaranteed minimum of comfort in your bedroom: tatami, futon, blanket, bedroom lamp, etc. On the other hand, don't be surprised to find no radio, no television, no private bathroom. Like traditional ryokan inns, you will have to share the common bathroom. Please note, the shower is regulated, it is not possible to shower in the morning but only in the evening by local custom. No menu for the evening meal either: single menu for everyone, without meat or fish! This being said, some temples tolerate the consumption of alcohol and will offer you beers, wines or sake.
- Not all traditional Japanese guesthouses have rooms with beds, you may sleep on comfortable futons.
- Included in your tour are outward and return bus journeys.
- The train ride from Awa-Kawashima Station to Tatsue will be at your own expense and will cost around €7
- Breakfasts and dinners are fully included in the price of your excursion.
- For lunch, you will find addresses selected by us in your travel diary.
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