Archive for December 11th, 2010

There’s a religious pilgrimage on the island of Shikoku called the Shikoku Henro (Pilgrimage). There are 88 temples scattered across the island, connected by 1200 kilometers (~750 miles) of road, originally traveled on foot (still the preferred method of making the pilgrimage, though slowly losing ground to modern transport).

I’d like to make the pilgrimage by bicycle at some point, not out of any sort of religious dedication (which would be obvious if you know me), but for the sense of accomplishment and the opportunity to see many out of the way places in this part of Japan that most foreigners don’t see.

That being the case, I was delighted when the local international affairs office set up a “mini Henro” walk connecting three of the temples in the Matsuyama area: Jodo-ji to the southeast, Hanta-ji to the east, and (the mac daddy of the area) Ishite-ji in the eastern part of Matsuyama.

Alissa, Sam, and I were the only foreigners out of the group of 20(?) people that went walking that day. We covered just over five kilometers (a little over three miles) wearing our official pilgrim vests and carrying our official pilgrim staves.

It was a fun day out, walking under beautifully blue skies just after a refreshing rain, and we even got to be in the prefectural newspaper in a picture with some of Sam’s students we just happened to run into. Good times. =)

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