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SHIKOKU TOURS

Travel and Adventure

Spiritual Experiences in Eastern Shikoku

5 Days

Overview

The Shikoku Pilgrimage has a history of more than 1,200 years. In addition to the 88 pilgrimage temples, there are also several sacred sites associated with Buddhism and Kūkai, the founder of the pilgrimage.

At these shrines and temples, you can participate in several ceremonies and experiences which are little known, even among Japanese people. On this tour, you visit seven sites in four days to experience these special rituals.

The experiences include ascetic training under a waterfall, staying at a temple lodging, meditation in front of a beautiful Japanese garden, hiking Mt. Tsurugi, and playing traditional shrine instruments dressed in Shintō robes.

The tour visits temples and shrines in Tokushima and Kagawa prefectures.

Itinerary

Day 1 :

The tour starts in Tokushima, where you visit Ryōzen-ji, the first temple of the Shikoku pilgrimage. Then you drive to Konji-ji temple to try takigyō, ascetic training under a waterfall. This temple is one of the few places in Shikoku where you can experience this. The next destination Anraku-ji, Temple 6 on the Shikoku Pilgrimage, has a temple lodging where you can warm yourself in the hot spring. In the evening, you can take part in a ceremony involving the magical camphor tree, held specially for you.

Day 2 :

After breakfast at the temple, you drive to Mt. Tsurugi. At the foot of the mountain, you take part in a ceremony in the main hall of Tsurugi Shrine and receive a headband with the shrine stamp. A chair lift and about one hour’s hike brings you to the summit with its breathtaking 360-degree views. From Mt. Tsurugi, you drive to Iya valley and stay at Iya Onsen, where you can enjoy hot springs with magnificent views of valley.

Day 3 :

Today you drive to Miyoshi and visit Hashikura-ji temple, located halfway up the mountain reached by cable car. In the quiet temple hall surrounded by nature, you can try ajikan moon meditation. As an option, you can also participate in a goma fire offering. After lunch you drive to Zentsū-ji, Temple 75 and the birthplace of Kūkai, founder of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. There are many things to see here, such as a five-storey pagoda, treasury, and several temple halls. Your accommodation is at the temple lodging where you’re served shōjin ryōri, delicious Buddhist vegetarian food, in the room reserved for special guests.

Day 4 :

Before breakfast, you take part in the Buddhist morning service and then drive to nearby Konpira Shrine. The main hall is located 785 steps up on the hill, but you can opt to go up by private vehicle. In the main hall, you experience a ceremony with Kagura, a Shintō dance form rarely performed today. Lunch is at a restaurant within the shrine featuring local ingredients. You also visit part of the shrine with precious sliding panel paintings, not open to the public, where you can try playing shrine instruments and dress in shrine clothing. Then you drive to Kōchi where you spend the night.

Day 5 :

After walking around the town of Kotohira, you drive to the Goshikidai plateau. First you visit Negoro-ji, Temple 82 on the pilgrimage, from where you walk one of the oldest sections of the pilgrimage trail. Then you visit Temple 81, Shiromine-ji, home to the mausoleum of Emperor Sutoku, who met a tragic end. This temple has special treasures which the priest will explain to you. The tour ends in Takamatsu.

Included

  • Guide/interpreter
  • Transportation indicated
  • Accommodation
  • Meals indicated
  • Basic insurance

Excluded

  • Transportation to Shikoku
  • Drinks
  • Comprehensive insurance

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Spiritual Experiences in Eastern Shikoku
From ¥598,000
/ Adult
From ¥1,134,000
/ person with 2
From ¥904,000
/ person with 3
From ¥744,000
/ person with 4
From ¥655,000
/ person with 5
From ¥598,000
/ person with 6