Updated: Nov 25, 2022
Have you heard of the 88-temple Shikoku Pilgrimage?
Visit @ Temple No. 1: Ryozenji
Tokushima, Naruto, Oasacho Bando, Tsukahana-126 [Google map link]
http://www.88shikokuhenro.jp/ Link to the pilgrimage
http://www.88shikokuhenro.jp/01ryozenji/ Link to Ryozenji temple
Parking - free. Bathrooms available for public use.
There is a shop from which people can buy their pilgrimage equipment.
Arrived 12noon - Departed at 12:30pm
The Shikoku Pilgrimage is an ancient 1200km long journey that many pilgrims undertake for a range of ascetic, religious or tourism-related reasons. There are 88 official temples in the pilgrimage which one should visit. It is not necessary to visit them in the order that they are known. Many have described beautiful sceneries and backdrops during the arduous journey, that's if they walked the entire pilgrimage. In the modern age, a number of pilgrims take other forms of transport such as bus, train and car.
We dropped by Temple Number 1: Ryozen-ji 霊山寺 in Naruto 鳴門 to see where it all starts for the O-Henro-san お遍路さん, a respectful term the inhabitants of Shikoku give the pilgrims. At Ryozen-ji, we came across a large group of pilgrims, identified by their white outfit, conical sedge hats, and walking staff. Many of them carry a bag to keep prayer beads, booklets to collect seals, incense sticks and coins. After they visited the main hall, they gathered to chant a Mantra.
I’ve come across an interesting article by a writer who embarked on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. He writes about his experience, the people he met during his journey, and the stories shared by those people when they went on their own pilgrimage in the past.