A Henro Pilgrimage Experience
The Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage, intimately connected with the great monk Kukai, encircles the island of Shikoku. It winds through 88 temples, including 23 here in Kagawa.
This course takes you to Zentsuji Temple, birthplace of Kukai (Kobo Daishi), and lets you walk a portion of the original pilgrimage path.
20 min. walk from JR Zentsuji Station
(5 min. by taxi)
Zentsuji Temple: Check-in at Iroha Hall
Day 1: Zentsuji Temple marks where the monk Kukai, also called Kobo Daishi, was born. In 815, Kukai established the Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage, which connects 88 temples across the island.
At Zentsuji, you can do a temple stay, view the Treasure Hall, or walk through the pitch-dark Kaidan Meguri?a place to self-reflect and grow spiritually. The five-story pagoda, 43 meters tall, is a national Important Cultural Property.
Zentsuji Temple: Morning Liturgy
Day 2: Begin your day by breathing in the fresh morning air and participating in the morning liturgy together with fellow lodgers and people from the neighborhood.
1 min. walk
Kumaoka Sweets Shop
Kumaoka Sweets Shop, founded in 1896 and a short walk from Zentsuji Temple, is a popular place to buy katapan. Originally created for soldiers as a long-lasting food similar to hardtack, katapan became famous as the hardest sweet in all of Japan. Its unique flavor and ginger/sugar coating have come to be loved by all generations. Try it out for yourself!
JR Zentsuji Station
Board a train bound for JR Sakaide Station. The ride takes about 30 minutes.
10 min. walk from JR Sakaide Station
Udon noodles before heading out
Grab some Sanuki Udon Noodles near Sakaide Station.
・Udon connoisseurs make their way to "Hinode Seimenjo". The shop is famous enough for lines to form, so while you wait ask the folks around you how to order.
・"Shima no Ibuki" is popular for its generous and satisfying portion sizes. You’ll find it right by the station, just after you leave the ticket gate.
Today’s destination won’t have many shops, so get everything you need around Sakaide Station before heading out.
20 min. (6 km) by bus from JR Sakaide Station
1 hour (2.5 km) walk from bus stop
Shiromineji Temple (No. 81)
Few portions of the Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage remain in their original state, but the route from Shiromineji to Negoroji Temple is one of them. Feel the pilgrimage’s history as you walk the mountain path.
First, make your way to the bus stop by Shiromineji Temple. Use the Ogoshi Line , and get off at Takaya (Tozanguchi) Bus Stop . The Shiromine Park Center, a rest area for pilgrims, is on your way up along Prefectural Road 80.
You can see many old signposts and choseki, or distance stones, on the path from Shiromineji to Negoroji Temple. One section is a national Historic Site.
Negoroji Temple (No. 82)
In summer and fall, deep green and later leaves of flaming colors envelop Negoroji Temple, nestled in the mountains at a height of 365 meters. 33,000 statues of the bodhisattva Kannon, donated from believers around the country, line the sunken pathway leading to the main hall.
Shimokasaishisho-mae Bus Stop or JR Kinashi Station
Congratulations! You have finished.
【Option】Koyasan (Wakayama Prefecture)
★ Other places to visit
Koyasan is a holy site in Japanese Buddhism, founded 1,200 years ago by the monk Kukai (Kobo Daishi).
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