If you are German, or can read the language, and are interested in the adventure of a lifetime, you might consider reading a book by Oliver Dunskus “Die 88 Tempel von Shikoku: Ein Reiseführer für Pilger – Ausgabe 2019″. Here are links for the book and for the author (He has also written about Wes Montgomery! How cool!)
The number of pilgrims coming to Shikoku is beginning to increase. And there is perhaps a little anxiety on both sides of the equation. Incoming travellers may have a lot of questions about what to do, how to do it, how to travel, how to be a good pilgrim, where to stay, what is ok and what is not? And on the Japanese side of the question, locals throughout Shikoku may be concerned about an increase of non-Japanese people coming through their neighbourhoods and communities.
It is reasonable to say that both sides have concerns. But as with so many other things, information and education can solve a lot of these worries. I want to thank Oliver for putting out his book to make things clearer, and helpful for German visitors (hopefully for English speaking visitors too as a possible translation is coming…). It’s a great service, so if you can read the language, please check it out.