Japan

Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage

Kumano Kodo

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6 responses to “Japan

  1. Thank you very much for your thoughtful and extremely helpful information. I’ve literally spent hours pouring over your descriptions and photographs to help me plan my next adventure. I’m currently deciding between walking the Camino Portuguese or the Shikoku Pilgrimage starting in 4 weeks (late April start). I walked the Camino Santiago last year and like the idea of walking the coast of Portugal back to Santiago, however I have never been to Japan and Shikoku is also attractive. Which would you recommend? The Shikoku seems very isolated and expensive, but maybe that’s just because there is so little written on the topic and fewer people walk it? I should also mention one of my primary reasons for taking a walking holiday is to drop some weight and improve my health. Thank you again for all your wonderful work and insight.

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    • Hi Eric,
      Hmmm, Camino Portuguese or Shikoku… these are two incredibly different walks…

      The Shikoku Pilgrimage was one of the hardest walks I’ve ever done – it’s either along a road and completely flat or in the mountains and very steep on uneven, slippery, rocky terrain. By my GPS it was 1362 km. If you’re looking for a challenge, it certainly is one 🙂 The cost would depend on where you stay each night – if you stay in paid accommodation this could be anywhere from 3000 – 7000 yen per night. If you take a tent and use this or stay in huts then it’s really very economical.

      The Camino Portuguese is a lot shorter, less elevation and most Portuguese people I met spoke English so I would consider it “easier” than Shikoku but a very different experience.

      Let me know what you decide 🙂

      Kat

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  2. Thanks for all your effort in sharing the info. Is it acceptable to hike in short pants, how easy was it to find ATM machines. Would you fly in and out to Tokyo, then local transport to the island. Im thinking of starting this Oct 1st..
    Pat

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    • Hi Pat,
      I don’t think it’s “unacceptable” to wear shorts and as far as I know, there aren’t any rules on what you must wear to enter Japanese temples, but I think it’s more about showing respect. Similar to walking the camino I guess, you do see people wearing shorts and entering churches, but I haven’t really seen people on the camino wearing ‘short’ shorts… ATM’s for people with international credit cards are in post offices and some convenience stores like 7-11’s but there’s not many 7-11s in Shikoku. Your best bet is the PO but just be careful as usually open Mon-Fri, bigger cities will have bigger post offices with longer business hours. Where you fly into may depend on which country you’re flying from. Kansai airport near Osaka is closer and more convenient for getting to Shikoku, check this link I wrote about getting to the start: https://followingthearrows.com/2014/09/22/getting-to-shikoku-and-sim-card-phone-rental/

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  3. thanks. I noticed in your answer to a question, you said this was the hardest hike, especially compared to the Camino, was this because to the sleeping arrangements, or the terrain. My concern will be getting enough protein to fuel the muscles..your equipment list really helps.
    My plan to to head out at the end of Sept from Denver,USA. give myself about 50 days, which should be enough as i walked 1000 moles of the camino in 52 days. I try and blog daily, how accessible is internet, and also charging points for electronics.
    ‘I really appreciate your input and i hope you dont mind me peppering you with continual questions as they come to me
    .regards
    pat

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    • Hi Pat,
      This was definitely my hardest hike (until the PCT last year) and was because of a number of factors: 3 typhoons in the first 2 weeks meant walking in non-stop rain, when the trail is along the road it’s completely flat, but when it’s in the mountains, the elevation gain and loss is incredible – see this link for the elevation profiles: https://followingthearrows.com/2014/10/29/shikoku-88-temple-pilgrimage-elevation-profiles/
      And then as I was trying to do it on a budget, there were some long days between the free/cheap accom (I didn’t have a tent for the second half). There are usually plenty of convenience stores to stock up on food, there were only a few days that I needed to carry enough for the whole day. Internet as mentioned before is only really at convenience stores and some have electric outlets outside. If you’re paying for accom you’ll have no problem charging things, otherwise you might go a few days between charges (some huts have power, and I stayed in an abandoned school one night which also had power, otherwise, try to charge wherever you buy food).
      Happy to answer any questions, might be easier by email: followingthearrows@hotmail.com
      Kat

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