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A Trip to Shikoku's Pilgrimage Trails and Temples 1 to 9

1night,2days Departure from Local Areas (Tokushima)

The priest Kobo-Daishi Kukai went to Tang China in the ninth century to learn more about Shingon esoteric Buddhism. Many men and women of all ages have walked along the pilgrimage trails and visited the eighty-eight temples of Shikoku associated with Kukai since the seventeenth century. The pilgrims are called "O-henro-san" and are highly regarded by the local people. Here is a route visiting Temples 1 to 9 over a period of two days.

  • 1night,2days

Temples 1 to 6

[Traveling]

Tokushima Airport -- <Limousine Bus30 mins.> -- Tokushima -- <Kotoku Line20 mins.> -- Bando -- <10 mins. by walk> -- [Ryozen-ji Temple] -- <15 mins. by walk> -- [Gokuraku-ji Temple] -- <45 mins. by walk> -- [Konsen-ji Temple] -- <105 mins. by walk> -- [Dainichi-ji Temple] -- <30 mins. by walk> -- [Jizo-ji Temple] -- <75 mins. by walk> -- [Anraku-ji Temple]

Ryozen-ji Temple

Temple 1 signifies the transferring of a sacred Indian temple to Japan. Tools and attire necessary for pilgrims such as canes and white robes can be purchased here. There is no rule that says the attire must be worn, but doing so puts you in the mood and gets you more acquainted with the locals!

Gokuraku-ji Temple

A temple for the safe delivery of children, boasting a history of a thousand and three hundred years. The grounds are surrounded by hills and have a spacious and richly green garden.

Cedar of Longevity

A tree over a thousand and two hundred years old and believed to have been planted by Kobo-Daishi. It is said to answer prayers for the safe delivery of children, healthy children, family safety, recovery from illness, and longevity.

Konsen-ji Temple

There is a legend that says when Kobo-Daishi dug a well for the villagers who were suffering from drought, the water that sprung out was holy water and provided longevity.

Dainichi-ji Temple

It is also referred to the temple of serenity as it stands in a quiet natural environment surrounded by forest on three sides. Thirty-three Kannon statues are enshrined in the corridor that connects the Main Hall and Taishi-do Hall.

Jizo-ji Temple

It is said that Kobo Taishi carved the "Shogun Jizo Bosatsu (Ksitigarbha statue of victory in battle)" himself and enshrined it as a holy object. Because it has the word "Shogun" in its name, warlords such as Minamoto no Yoritomo, who established the Kamakura Shogunate, regarded it highly.

Gohyaku Rakan (Five Hundred Arhats)

There are wooden life-sized "Gohyaku Rakan" high priest statues in the corridor of "Okuno-in Gohyaku Rakan-ji Temple", north of Jizo-ji Temple. Due to an accidental fire in 1915, only two hundred of these statues now remain.

Anraku-ji Temple

The holy Yakushi Norai statue of Anraku-ji Temple was dedicated as a token of gratitude by a woman with eye disease who went on the Shikoku pilgrimage and was cured. Visitors can also spend the night at the guest house located on the grounds of the temple.

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1st Day

A Trip to Temples 7 to 9

[Traveling]

Anraku-ji Temple -- <20 mins. by walk> -- [Juraku-ji Temple] -- <60 mins. by walk> -- [Kumadani-ji Temple] -- <45 mins. by walk> -- [Horin-ji Temple] -- <60 mins. by walk> -- Kamojima -- <JR Tokushima Line30 mins.> -- Tokushima -- <Limousine Bus 30 mins.> -- Tokushima Airport

Juraku-ji Temple

It is visited by many pilgrims with eye disease as it has been believed for many ages to provide miraculous treatment for eye disease. The spot in front of the stairs is lined with the Ksitigarbha of the recovery from eye disease.

Kumadani-ji Temple

It has one of the largest wooden temple gates of all sacred sites in Shikoku and beautiful scenery with cherry blossoms in the spring.

Horin-ji Temple

The only temple out of the eighty-eight locations where the sleeping "Shakyamuni Nyorai Nirvana Statue" is enshrined. The Taishi-do Hall houses clothing worn by high priests. However, it is currently not open to the public.

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2nd Day

Tips

Excluding Ryozen-ji Temple, which is the first pilgrimage temple standing at four hundred and fifty meters above sea level, it is relatively flat and easy to walk through. Temples 1 to 10 have been called the "Ten Temples for Prayer" for ages and the path that passes through them is known as an easy pilgrimage trail. Shikoku has a culture that is very hospitable to pilgrims and there are many visitors from overseas who are thankful to this culture.

Please download the PDF files below as they include maps and are filled with useful information.

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