Henro〜The Pilgrimage Route and 88 Temples of Shikoku 〜
1 Feb 2022
The Shikoku Henro is a pilgrimage route of 88 temples that was established by the great Buddhist priest, Kukai(Kobo Daishi), over 1200 years ago on Shikoku Island. It is one of the world’s longest circular pilgrimage routes, extending some1400 kilometers across Shikoku’s regions of Awa, Tosa, Iyo, and Sanuki. Pilgrims still make the journey on steep mountain roads, up long stone stairways, through pastoral countryside, along calm seashores and around remote promontories. Walking the paths, visitors can easily find other pilgrims journeying around Shikoku. This circular type of pilgrimage is different from those practiced under Christianity or Islam which focus on the voyage to and return from a holy place. In Japan, anyone can be a pilgrim regardless of nationality or religion, and all are sure to receive a warm welcome from the locals. Walking the “Henro Route” and retracing the footsteps of Kukai(Kobo Daishi)--whether for the sake of a memorial, personal discipline, redemption, or health--is a spiritual journey and a rare opportunity to experience the culture of pilgrimage and of Shikoku Island.
Tokushima Prefecture, Kochi Prefecture, Ehime Prefecture, Kagawa Prefecture & 57 local government office