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

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.

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Day 1 - Temples 1 to 6

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

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.

Day 2 - A Trip to Temples 7 to 9

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

Kumadani-ji Temple

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.