On this exclusive tour, you visit Mt. Ishizuchi the highest mountain in western Japan, located in the middle of the island Shikoku. This awe-inspiring peak has been worshipped since ancient times.
You visit two shrines and three temples around Saijō, participating in unique ceremonies and experiences. This tour includes several spiritual experiences and ceremonies which you won’t find anywhere else in Japan.
The tour starts in Matsuyama. You drive to Saijō and visit Ishizuchi Hongū shrine, where you learn about worship of Mt. Ishizuchi and conch shell blowing. It’s difficult at first, but you quickly improve. Your accommodation for the night is Itomachi Hotel 0, the first zero energy hotel in Japan.
Today you visit four sites of mountain worship and practice blowing your conch shell; Maegami-ji (Temple 64), Yokomine-ji (Temple 60), Gokuraku-ji, and Ishizuchi Jōju shrine. Hoshigamori, the inner sanctuary of Yokomine-ji, provides an amazing view of Mt. Ishizuchi. Then you take a cable car to visit Ishizuchi Jōju shrine, located halfway up to the summit. At the main hall of Jōju shrine, you offer your final blast to the sacred mountain above you. After this special experience, you head into Kagawa Prefecture.
Your accommodation is a ryokan with hot springs in Kotohira.
Today you visit Konpira Shrine, where 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.
At the end of the day, you drive to the Iya valley and stay at a hotel with hot springs.
After visiting the Kazurabashi vine bridge, you continue 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 Mima and stay in this city with its traditional townscape.
In the morning, you explore the historical townscape of Wakimachi. Then you drive to Konji-ji temple to do 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 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.
- Transportation indicated
- Meals indicated
- Basic insurance
- Transportation to Shikoku
- Comprehensive insurance