Meet your guide near Dogo Onsen Station, change into pilgrim clothes, and begin your adventure! Ride a tram and local train to Kume Station, then walk to three of the 88 Shikoku Henro temples: No. 49 Jodoji, No. 50 Hantaji, and No. 51 Ishiteji.
The Shikoku Pilgrimage or Shikoku Henro is a multi-site pilgrimage of 88 temples on Shikoku Island that is associated with a historically significant Japanese Buddhist monk (774–835). Known posthumously as Kobo Daishi, Kukai was a Japanese Buddhist monk, civil servant, scholar, poet, calligrapher, and artist. Most famously, he founded the Esoteric Shingon or "mantra" school of Buddhism in Japan after spending time studying in China. In this experience, you'll assemble in front of the famous Botchan Karakuri Clock near Dogo Onsen Station and change into traditional Buddhist pilgrimage wear before setting off on a four-hour adventure. From Dogo Onsen Station, you'll take local trains and a tram to Kume Station. Then, from there, you'll set off on foot on a mini-tour of three of the 88 temples on the Shikoku Henro. You'll start with No. 49, Jodoji Temple before visiting No. 50, Hantaji Temple, and No. 51 Ishiteji Temple. An experienced English-speaking local guide will accompany you the entire way as you cover nearly 6.2 kilometers of this famous pilgrimage route. Goshuin (Temple Seals) ‘Goshuin’ or ‘shuin’ are temple seals unique to each temple in Japan. If you wish to collect temple seals, you need a ‘goshuin-cho’ (‘shuin-cho’)—a special notebook for collecting temple seals. You can often purchase a goshuin-cho notebook for 1,000 – 2,000 JPY at larger temples in Japan. If you wish to collect temple seals on this tour, please bring your own goshuin-cho notebook, and ask your guide about goshuin for the temples you’ll be visiting on the day. Depending on the day, you may be able to get a seal for each temple. Jodoji Temple (No. 49) Jodoji is a Shingon Buddhist temple in Matsuyama, Japan. This temple is Temple No. 49 of the 88 temples on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Founded in the 8th century, the principal image is one of Shaka Nyorai. The name honors the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, as a Buddha. A statue of the monk Kuya is enshrined here. Kuya was a monk devoted to public well-being. He built roads and bridges, dug wells, and gave memorial services for abandoned bodies. Unfortunately, this statue can only be viewed on certain special occasions. Established in 1482, Jodoji Hondo (main hall) is an Important Cultural Property. Beyond its structures, Jodoji Temple also holds several Important Cultural Property artworks. Hantaji Temple (No. 50) Hantaji is Temple No. 50. Founded in the mid-8th century, the principal image is of Yakushi Nyorai. A statue of Kangiten is enshrined in the Shotendo to the left of the main hall. Praying to this statue is said to bring wealth, prosperity in business, happiness in marriage, and generally good fortune. Ishiteji Temple (No. 51) Ishiteji is Matsuyama City's most famous temple and Temple No. 51 of the 88 temples on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Ishiteji was founded in 728. There are many important cultural properties here, including the Niomon gate, a designated national treasure. Ishiteji is also famous as the temple in the legend explaining the start of the pilgrimage.