Temples Of Japan

Shikoku Pilgrimage

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Kobo Daishi Kukai
Kannon Bosatsu and Kobo Daishi Kukai Statues

Shikoku Pilgrimage circuit consists of 88 Buddhist Temples in the Shikoku Region.  Shikoku region, which is also called Shikoku island is the smallest of the four main Japanese Islands.  Shikoku in Japanese literally means "Four Countries", contains four prefectures.  They are Kagawa, Tokushima, Ehime and Kochi.  The old names for these prefectures are Awa, Sanuki, Tosa and Oyo. 

The Shikoku region is famously known as the birthplace of the revered Buddhist Monk Kobo Daishi Kukai.  It is believed that Monk Kukai spent his formative years in the Shikoku Island as a student and young aspiring monk of Buddhist studies, until he was sent to China to study with the best religious teachers by then Japanese Emperor. 

The eighty eight Buddhist temples of the Shikoku pilgrimage are closely associated with Monk Kobo Daishi during his formative years.  It is believed that after coming back from China and establishing the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism, Monk Kukai devised a pilgrimage that covered the eighty eight temples that he was associated with in Shikoku region.  Some reports say that the pilgrimage was not devised until the late 1400s and put the timeline same as the Chichibu Kannon pilgrimage.  In any case, the Shikoku 88 Buddhist temple pilgrimage is considered one of the oldest and most practiced pilgrimage circuit in Japan.

Unlike the 100 Kannon Pilgrimages (Saikoku, Bando and Chichibu), the Shikoku 88 Temple pilgrimage is centered around Buddhist Temples or places where Buddha is the main object of worship.  Please visit my pages about Shintoism and Buddhism, to find more about Japanese Buddhist deities.

This pilgrimage has a total walking distance of over 1100 kilometers, covering all the four prefectures of Shikoku Islands.  In addition to the ascetic aspect of this pilgrimage, there is a great touristic aspect to it, as most of the temples are located on the borders (edges) of the shikoku Island rather than in the inland.  There are beautiful views of the Pacific ocean and the Seto Inland sea at almost every temple you visit.

Here is the list of all the temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage.

 1) Ryozenji Temple
 2) Gokurakuji Temple
 3) Kosenji Temple
 4) Dainichiji Temple
5) Jizoji Temple  6) Anrakuji Temple
 7) Jurakuji Temple
 8) Kumataniji Temple
 9) Horinji Temple
 10) Kirihataji Temple
 11) Fujiidera Temple
 12) Shosanji Temple
13) Dainichiji Temple
 14) Jourakuji Temple
 15) Kokubunji Temple
16) Kanonji Temple  17) Idoji Temple
 18) Onzanji Temple
 19) Tatsueji Temple
 20) Kakurinji Temple
 21) Dairyuji Temple
 22) Byodoji Temple
 23) Yakuoji Temple
 24) Hotsumisakiji Temple
 25) Shinshoji Temple
 26) Kongochoji Temple
 27) Konomineji Temple
 28) Dainichiji Temple
29) Kokubunji Temple
 30) Zenrakuji Temple
 31) Chikurinji Temple
 32) Zenjibuji Temple
 33) Sekkeiji Temple
 34) Tanemaji Temple
 35) Kiyotakiji Temple
 36) Shoryuji Temple
 37) Iwamotoji Temple
 38) Kongofukuji Temple
 39) Enkoji Temple
 40) Kanjizaiji Temple
 41) Ryukoji Temple
 42) Butsumokuji Temple
 43) Ageishiji Temple
 44) Daihoji Temple
 45) Iwayaji Temple
 46) Joruriji Temple
 47) Yasakaji Temple
 48) Sairinji Temple
 49) Jodoji Temple
 50) Hantaji Temple
 51) Ishiteji Temple
 52) Taisanji Temple
 53) Enmyoji Temple
 54) Enmeiji Temple
 55) Nankobo Temple
 56) Taisanji Temple
 57) Eifukuji Temple
58) Senyuji Temple
 59) Kokubunji Temple
 60) Yokomineji Temple
 61) Koonji Temple
62) Hojuji Temple
 63) Kisshoji Temple
 64) Maegamiji Temple
 65) Sankakuji Temple
 66) Umpenji Temple
67) Daikoji Temple
 68) Jinnein Temple
 69) Kanonji Temple
 70) Motoyamaji Temple
 71) Iyadaniji Temple
72) Mandaraji Temple
 73) Shusshakaji Temple
 74) Koyamaji Temple
 75) Zentsuji Temple
 76) Konzoji Temple
 77) Doryuji Temple
 78) Goshoji Temple
 79) Koshoin Temple
 80) Kokubunji Temple
 81) Shironineji Temple
 82) Negoroji Temple
83) Ichinomiyaji Temple
 84) Yashimaji Temple
 85) Yakuriji Temple
 86) Shidoji Temple
 87) Nagaoji Temple
 88) Hojuji Temple

As you can see in this list there are some temples repeated with the same names, but if you pick up the Temple Guide, they will have different addresses.  The reason for the same names is because of the worshiped deities.  At almost all of these temples Kobo Daishi statues or Halls dedicated Kobo Daishi are present.

I hope to provide you with more information about these temples, once I start visiting them.

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