The Shikoku Pilgrimage is a famous trail of 88 temples in Shikoku island, roughly 1,200km long, associated with the famous Buddhist scholar Kūkai (774-835). Shikoku is a stunning part of Japan, shut off from the rest of the world. This walking tour is the best way to see the hidden beauty of Japan’s countryside. Though traditionally, the route was undertaken by walking, and would typically take up to 60 days, these days people also make the pilgrimage by car, buses, bicycles or even motorcycles.
The route was traditionally undertaken as path to achieve enlightenment, and the temples are divided into four groups, whose names reflect this. Temple numbers 1 to 23 represent awakening, 24 to 39 represent austerity, 40 to 65, enlightenment, and 66 to 88, nirvana.
Hankyu offer four separate tours for travellers wishing to take part in the pilgrimage, corresponding to the four separate prefectures in Shikoku: Tokushima, Kochi, Ehime, and Kagawa.
Below, we have provided travel plans for the first two of the four tours, Tokushima and Kochi.
The Kochi tour continues the pilgrimage, visiting the next 18 temples on the pilgrimage route, which is known particularly for its stunning views of both the Pacific ocean and the great Shimanto river.
On this three day tour, you will visit temples 24 to 40, which are located in the south and south-western tip of Shikoku. On your walk, you will enjoy stunning views of the Pacific ocean, and of the great Shimanto river.
Each day you will walk for approximately 4 to 5 hours, to please wear appropriate attire and footwear, and make sure you have some water with you. You will be accompanied throughout by an English-speaking assistant.
DAY 1｜FOUR TEMPLES
Your flight from Haneda will take you to either Takamatsu or Kochi airports. You will be met at the airport by your English-speaking assistant, and you will board a private coach which will take you directly to the first temple for the start of your walking tour.
Temples you will visit on the first day:
- No.24 Hotsumisakiji Temple
- No.25 Shinshoji Temple
- No.26 Kongochoji Temple
- No.27 Konomineji Temple
After you have completed your walk for the day, your private coach will pick you up and take you to your hotel.
Meal Breakfast Lunch Dinner Hotel Ryomanoyado Nansui or similar
Hotel Ryomanoyado Nansui or similar
DAY 2｜SEVEN TEMPLES
After breakfast at your hotel, your private coach will take pick you up, and take back to the pilgrimage trail, where you left off the day before. On the second day, you will visit the following temples:
- No.28 Dainichiji Temple
- No.29 Kokubunji Temple
- No.30 Zenrakuji Temple
- No.31 Chikurinji Temple
- No.32 Zenjibuji Temple
- No.33 Sekkeiji Temple
- No.34 Tanemaji Temple
At the end of the day, your private coach will pick you up and take you to your hotel.
Meal Breakfast Lunch Dinner Hotel Hotel Sunshine Tokushima or similar
Hotel Hotel Sunshine Tokushima or similar
DAY 3｜SEVEN TEMPLES
After breakfast at your hotel, your private coach will take you back to the pilgrimage trail. On the second day, you will visit the following temples:
- No.17 Idoji Temple
- No.23 Yakuoji Temple
- No.22 Byodoji Temple
- No.21 Tairyuji Temple (with ropeway)
- No.20 Kakurinji Temple
- No.19 Tatsueji Temple
- No.18 Onzanji Temple
Finally, your private coach will pick you up and take you to either Takamatsu or Tokushima airport for your return flight to Haneda airport.
Meal Breakfast Lunch Dinner Hotel Kussharo Prince Hotel
Hotel Kussharo Prince Hotel