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Shikoku Pilgrimage

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The Shikoku Pilgrimage (四国遍路 Shikoku Henro?) or Shikoku Junrei (四国巡礼?) is a pilgrimage of 88 temples on the island of Shikoku, Japan. It is believed all 88 temples were visited by the famous Buddhist monk Kūkai, founder of the Shingon school, who was born in Zentsūji, Shikoku in 774. However, Kūkai only mentions visiting two of them in his own extant writings.

In addition to the 88 "official" temples of the pilgrimage, there are over 200 bangai — temples not considered part of the official 88. To complete the pilgrimage, it is not necessary to visit the temples in order; in some cases it is even considered lucky to travel in reverse order. The pilgrimage is traditionally completed on foot, but modern pilgrims use cars, taxis, buses, bicycles, or motorcycles. The walking course is approximately 1,200km long and can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days to complete. "Henro" (遍路?) is the Japanese word for pilgrim, and the inhabitants of Shikoku call the pilgrims o-henro-san (お遍路さん?), the "o" (?) being a beautifier and the "san" (さん?) a title similar to "Mr.". They are often recognizable by their white clothing, sedge hats, and walking sticks. Many pilgrims begin and complete the journey by visiting Mount Kōya in Wakayama Prefecture, which was settled by Kūkai and remains the headquarters of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. The 21km walking trail up to Koya-san still exists, but most pilgrims use the train.

In addition to the main pilgrimage on the island of Shikoku, there are miniature versions of the pilgrimage north of Takamatsu on the island of Shōdoshima, and on the grounds of Ninna-ji Temple in Kyoto. A much larger scale imitation of the Shikoku pilgrimage is located on Chita peninsula, near Nagoya.

The 88 Temples

Collectively, the 88 temples are known as Shikoku Hachijūhakkasho (四国八十八箇所?) or simply the Hachijūhakkasho (八十八箇所?).

Iwamotoji PilgrimGirl

A female pilgrim





No. Temple City/Town/Village Prefecture
1 Ryōzenji (霊山寺) Naruto Tokushima
2 Gokurakuji (極楽寺) Naruto Tokushima
3 Konsenji (金泉寺) Itano Tokushima
4 Dainichiji (大日寺) Itano Tokushima
5 Jizōji (地蔵寺) Itano Tokushima
6 Anrakuji (安楽寺) Kamiita Tokushima
7 Jūrakuji (十楽寺) Awa Tokushima
8 Kumataniji (熊谷寺) Awa Tokushima
9 Hōrinji (法輪寺) Awa Tokushima
10 Kirihataji (切幡寺) Awa Tokushima
11 Fujiidera (藤井寺) Yoshinogawa Tokushima
12 Shōzanji (焼山寺) Kamiyama Tokushima
13 Dainichiji (大日寺) Tokushima Tokushima
14 Jōrakuji (常楽寺) Tokushima Tokushima
15 Kokubunji (国分寺) Tokushima Tokushima
16 Kan'onji (観音寺) Tokushima Tokushima
17 Idoji (井戸寺) Tokushima Tokushima
18 Onzanji (恩山寺) Komatsushima Tokushima
19 Tatsueji (立江寺) Komatsushima Tokushima
20 Kakurinji (鶴林寺) Katsuura Tokushima
21 Tairyūji (太竜寺) Anan Tokushima
22 Byōdōji (平等寺) Anan Tokushima
23 Yakuōji (薬王寺) Minami Tokushima
24 Hotsumisakiji (最御崎寺) Muroto Kōchi
25 Shinshōji (津照寺) Muroto Kōchi
26 Kongōchōji (金剛頂寺) Muroto Kōchi
27 Kōnomineji (神峰寺) Yasuda Kōchi
28 Dainichiji (大日寺) Konan Kōchi
29 Kokubunji (国分寺) Nankoku Kōchi
30 Zenrakuji (善楽寺) Kōchi Kōchi
31 Chikurinji (竹林寺) Kōchi Kōchi
32 Zenjibuji (禅師峰寺) Nankoku Kōchi
33 Sekkeiji (雪蹊寺) Kōchi Kōchi
34 Tanemaji (種間寺) Haruno Kōchi
35 Kiyotakiji (清滝寺) Tosa Kōchi
36 Shōryūji (青竜寺) Tosa Kōchi
37 Iwamotoji (岩本寺) Shimanto Kōchi
38 Kongōfukuji (金剛福寺) Tosashimizu Kōchi
39 Enkōji (延光寺) Sukumo Kōchi
40 Kanjizaiji (観自在寺) Ainan Ehime
41 Ryūkōji (竜光寺) Uwajima Ehime
42 Butsumokuji (佛木寺) Uwajima Ehime
43 Meisekiji (明石寺) Seiyo Ehime
44 Daihōji (大宝寺) Kumakōgen Ehime
45 Iwayaji (岩屋寺) Kumakōgen Ehime
46 Jōruriji (浄瑠璃寺) Matsuyama Ehime
47 Yasakaji (八坂寺) Matsuyama Ehime
48 Sairinji (西林寺) Matsuyama Ehime
49 Jōdoji (浄土寺) Matsuyama Ehime
50 Hantaji (繁多寺) Matsuyama Ehime
51 Ishiteji (石手寺) Matsuyama Ehime
52 Taizanji (太山寺) Matsuyama Ehime
53 Enmyōji (円明寺) Matsuyama Ehime
54 Enmeiji (延命寺) Imabari Ehime
55 Nankōbō (南光坊) Imabari Ehime
56 Taisanji (泰山寺) Imabari Ehime
57 Eifukuji (栄福寺) Imabari Ehime
58 Sen'yūji (仙遊寺) Imabari Ehime
59 Kokubunji (国分寺) Imabari Ehime
60 Yokomineji (横峰寺) Saijō Ehime
61 Kōonji (香園寺) Saijō Ehime
62 Hōjuji (宝寿寺) Saijō Ehime
63 Kichijōji (吉祥寺) Saijō Ehime
64 Maegamiji (前神寺) Saijō Ehime
65 Sankakuji (三角寺) Shikokuchūō Ehime
66 Unpenji (雲辺寺) Miyoshi Tokushima
67 Daikōji (大興寺) Mitoyo Kagawa
68 Jinnein (神恵院) Kan'onji Kagawa
69 Kan'onji (観音寺) Kan'onji Kagawa
70 Motoyamaji (本山寺) Mitoyo Kagawa
71 Iyadaniji (弥谷寺) Mitoyo Kagawa
72 Mandaraji (曼荼羅寺) Zentsūji Kagawa
73 Shusshakaji (出釈迦寺) Zentsūji Kagawa
74 Kōyamaji (甲山寺) Zentsūji Kagawa
75 Zentsūji (善通寺) Zentsūji Kagawa
76 Konzōji (金倉寺) Zentsūji Kagawa
77 Dōryūji (道隆寺) Tadotsu Kagawa
78 Gōshōji (郷照寺) Utazu Kagawa
79 Tennōji (天皇寺) Sakaide Kagawa
80 Kokubunji (国分寺) Takamatsu Kagawa
81 Shiromineji (白峯寺) Sakaide Kagawa
82 Negoroji (根香寺) Takamatsu Kagawa
83 Ichinomiyaji (一宮寺) Takamatsu Kagawa
84 Yashimaji (屋島寺) Takamatsu Kagawa
85 Yakuriji (八栗寺) Takamatsu Kagawa
86 Shidoji (志度寺) Sanuki Kagawa
87 Nagaoji (長尾寺) Sanuki Kagawa
88 Ōkuboji (大窪寺) Sanuki Kagawa

Further reading

Books written in English about the Shikoku Pilgrimage:

  • Oliver Statler, Japanese Pilgrimage (1983)
  • Craig McLachlan, Tales of a Summer Henro (1997)
  • Lisa Dempster, Neon Pilgrim (2009)

External links


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