Episode 14- Shin Tanaka- Shikoku Pilgrimage


Today with us Shin Tanaka. A Japanese pilgrim that walked the Shikoku pilgrimage.

Because there are many different pilgrimages around the world we want to introduce them to all of you. The full pilgrimage is to 88 temples located around the island of Shikoku. It is said that by visiting some or all of these temples, especially on foot, one’s worldly desires will gradually dissipate and reduce the frustrations of everyday life by becoming fully aware of your true self.

The pilgrimage was initiated by the Buddhist priest Kukai and follows the trail he walked in 815 when he was 42 years old. Thereafter, all of Shikoku became a place of pilgrimage for his followers. Shikoku’s four prefectures also reflect the four separate parts of the mandala ( symbol of the universe ) that shows the world of Buddhism and seeing into one’s true nature, the ultimate comprehension of being. Tokushima is the place of spiritual awakening; Kochi, the place of ascetic training; Ehime, the place of enlightenment; and Kagawa, the place of Nirvana.

Those who follow in the footstep of Kukai are known as O-Henro-san ( pilgrims ). Some locals hold that such pilgrims and Kukai are at one with each other, and in a spirit of generosity, offer gifts of fruit and sweets ( osettai ) to pilgrims.

The pilgrim trail goes through untouched pastoral scenery, along the coasts of the calm Seto Inland Sea, the wild Pacific Ocean, and up steep, sacred, mountains. In these surroundings, one gradually becomes aware that they are something very special, and a feeling of affection arises for ordinary things, which is enhanced by the warmth of others.

The length of the full trail is 1,400 km and can be started or completed anywhere. There are no set rules of where to visit or how many temples to see. Just suit yourself.

Listen to Shin as he explains how this pilgrimage differs from the Camino de Santiago. He is actually cycling around Japan. 12000km!!!

Are you planning on walking a different pilgrimage or you are just a Camino de Santiago pilgrim?



Thank you all so much for walking with us one more day.Thanks a lot for your ratings, your likes, and your feedback on all platforms where the podcast is available. (Itunes, Ivoox, Youtube, Spotify).You can leave your comments on the episode in the comments section of the program’s notes page. If you would like us to talk about a specific topic in the podcast, you have the Propose Topic section.


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