From Couch to Henro

This is a remarkable blog by a very interesting Canadian woman named Marianne. She is a nurse and depreciatingly calls herself a very regular person, not a gym person, not a marathon person, just a regular Canadian.

I really really like that.

The Shikoku Pilgrimage really is for anyone and everyone. You don’t have to be a professional athlete, a skilled mountaineer, or any such thing. Just get out on the road and hike your own pilgrimage. I have a lot of respect for Marianne, and am very glad she made this blog for us to enjoy! Check it out!

https://couchtohenro.weebly.com

Calm Pilgrimage Video

I’m constantly on the look out for new quality video taken of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Some is really highly produced and carefully choreographed, and that can be great. But this video is very nice in the calmness and simplicity of its creation and production.

Check it out:

Some of the drone photography is simply superb.

Top Ohenro Information Site

If you are coming to Shikoku to walk the 88 Temple Pilgrimage route there is one website that stands way above the rest. It is this one:

http://www.shikokuhenrotrail.com/index.html

David Turkington is the mastermind behind the site and he is tremendously well-read, articulate, helpful, non-preachy, and a regular good guy. I even corresponded with him recently and asked for some help in advising ohenro coming this way and he said, “Sure thing. No problem”. That is very good news.

So while you likely have a ton of questions about the pilgrimage, what to wear, which way to go, what to look out for, how to get from place A to place B, do yourself a HUGE favour, bookmark his site, and read everything there. It’s pilgrim gold.

And here is Dave’s blog and contact information:

http://www.shikokuhenrotrail.com/shikoku/contactInfo.html

http://essentiallynothing.blogspot.com

Ohenro Article in Sri Lanka

Most certainly word of people’s experiences on the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage is getting out more and more. One of the participant on the Ohenro San お遍路さん Facebook  group shared this link. I want to share it with you here too.

http://www.sundaytimes.lk/190818/plus/soaking-in-the-pilgrim-sites-of-shikoku-2-363092.html?fbclid=IwAR3OwQmuDbJV58DkX5LMHqrb8I0y55K0_Ou8VtS7unRunVwr_6GAN9mOG70

I will keep posting more articles as I find them. If you see something on-line that you think should be here for others to discover, please drop me a line and let me know!

Thanks so much and travel safe!

Matsushita Naoyuki: Visiting the Sacred Sites of Kukai

Deciding to come to Shikoku to walk the path of Kukai, and visit the 88 temples on the trail is a serious undertaking. One does not simply walk around Shikoku. One must be prepared. One must read well. One must most certainly get this book. Don’t worry, on Kindle it is super cheap. It’ll cost you less than a single bento lunch. And it will be super worth-it.

Matsushita Naoyuki (with kind assistance of David Moreton) bring this MUST-READ book to light. It is called “Visiting the Sacred Sites of Kukai”. Understated in the title, but invaluable in content, you really must read this book through and through, take the notes you need to, and prepare what you need for the trek of your life. I cannot recommend this book more. Go to Amazon and order henceforth:

While the style of the book is not super engaging there is a ton of very helpful hints and advice, as well as highly useful information with details on all the things that will make your pilgrimage effective, worthwhile, and enriching. Don’t let that stop you for a moment. Remember that the author’s native tongue is not English, and just be grateful that this book is out there to help you get ready for an event that may change you forever. When visiting a temple on the route, say a quiet word of thanks, and drop a coin in the temple box, as you make your way around Shikoku. Remember everything here that Matsushita-san is teaching you.

And of course, travel safe!

Website To Check Out!

The summer is pretty hot here in sunny Kagawa. I’m hiding out inside the house for a few hours during mid-day to stay out of the sun. I suppose I could complain about it, but then again, what’s the point? It’s hot. It’s Japan. It’s Kagawa, and I still get to live in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

But looking forward to the next season of Shikoku Pilgrimage ohenro (pilgrims) it’s time to start recommending sources of information so that when you come out this way you have all the tools and information you need to make your experience on Kukai’s trail unbelievable, well-organized, and fulfilling.

The first website I want to recommend you take a look at is:

http://wwwtb.mlit.go.jp/shikoku/88navi/en/

This website is a storehouse of great information for getting around. It shows exactly what train lines get to Shikoku, what gets you around Shikoku, supplies sample itineraries, and has great visuals to show you how far to walk from transportation hubs to the temples. Check it out, take careful notes, and plan accordingly. Lots of great photos throughout too!