88 Hallowed Grounds of Shikoku – A Pilgrimage 1200 Years in the Making

Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage self-guided walking A hike through spectacular scenery, with beautiful temples, terrific Onsen baths and delicious traditional cuisine on the ancient 88 Temple Pilgrimage in Tokushima and Kagawa Prefectures at the north-east tip of Shikoku Island. Start from Kyoto or Osaka, spend 5 nights on Shikoku (with up to 5 days of hiking) and return to Kyoto or Osaka

Shikoku is Japan's fourth-largest island, home to some of the country's most spectacular and undeveloped scenery. The island is also the setting for an ancient walking trail, the challenging Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage. The trail connects 88 Buddhist temples and the full walk covers more than a thousand kilometres. Pilgrims, known as O-henro, cover the journey over many weeks, staying at Shukubo temples which provide overnight lodging. This tour takes in some of the most beautiful hikes and breathtaking scenery on the trail, as well as emotive temples and overnight stays in both Shukubo and Onsen bath Ryokan which offer delicious traditional Japanese meals, exceptional service and warm hospitality.

We also offer 4-day, 5-day, 8-day and 10-day versions of this trip. And please ask for information about tour extensions to the mountain-top temple town of Mount Koya with its monastery lodgings, or the peaceful, agricultural community of Asuka with charming guesthouse or homestay accommodation.

Price : Adult (age 12+)
AUD1,875
Price : Adult (age 12+) AUD1,875
Duration : 5 nights 6 Days
Tour Start : Kyoto or Osaka
Tour End : Kyoto or Osaka
Walking days : 5 days
Departure Date : Any day (recommended from March until early December)
Route : Kyoto or Osaka ⇒ Tokushima (Temple 1, 2, 3, 11, 12, 13, 17, 20 and 21) ⇒ Kagawa (Temple 82, 81, 80) ⇒ Kyoto or Osaka
Includes : 5 nights accommodation, 5 Breakfasts and 5 Dinners, Round-trip transportation from Kyoto or Osaka and 2 pre-paid taxis, Detailed day-by-day itinerary and walking instructions, Topographical map, Local phone support
Download : PDF Itinerary
DayEvent / Visit
1
From Kyoto or Osaka; Tokushima (Temples 1 to 3)

Walking distance : 5.8km
Elevation gain : Negligible ascent and descent
Time required : About 2 hours *

Start from Kyoto or Osaka and travel by long-distance bus to Tokushima Prefecture. Begin your pilgrimage with a gentle introduction to the walks on Shikoku through quiet neighbourhoods of Tokushima. Visit three of the most eye-catching temples on whole trail - Temple 1 Ryozen-ji, Temple 2 Gokuraku-ji and Temple 3 Konsen-ji. Spend your first night as all pilgrims should - with a stay in a Shukubo Temple Lodging. There is also the option of staying at a city-centre Ryokan for this first night.

* An optional additional walk along paved roads to Temple 7 Juraku-ji can extend the day by 3km and around 45 minutes.

Meals : Dinner
Hotel : Naruto
2
Tokushima (Temples 11 to 12)

Walking distance : 9.5km
Elevation gain : 550m ascent and 1,070m descent
-Time required : About 4-5 hours *

Travel south by pre-booked and pre-paid taxi to Temple 11 Fujii-dera, a fascinating hillside temple complex. After time to explore Fujii-dera, your taxi delivers you to Ryusuian Temple, part-way up Mount Shosanji. From there you hike up the rest of the mountain to Temple 12 Shosan-ji, then finally descend to the east. The walk is fairly strenuous, but very rewarding with beautiful scenery.

* A longer walk of 6-7 hours (13.2km) is required if staying at the nearby Onsen Ryokan.

Meals : Breakfast / Dinner
Hotel : Tokushima
3
Tokushima (Temple 13 to 17)

Walking distance : 9.2km (easier cultural option)
Elevation gain : Negligible ascent and descent
-Time required : About 3 hours *

Choose an easier day today if you wish - explore Kamiyama Onsen and the Ichinomiya Castle ruins near Temple 13 Dainichi-ji before heading to Tokushima by bus. Or select one of the walking options: the easier cultural walk begins from Temple 13 Dainichi-ji, passing four other temples along mostly flat, paved paths through suburban areas. The more challenging walk adds forest trails and paved mountain roads with lovely valley views, before continuing onwards to the cultural walk. From the end of the cultural walk, board a bus to Tokushima and your overnight stay in a city-centre Ryokan (Travellers Inn) or western-style hotel.

* The more challenging option begins with an additional 3.5-hour walk of 11.5km, with 335m feet of ascent and 505m feet of descent.

Meals : Breakfast / Dinner
Hotel : Tokushima
4
Tokushima (Temples 20 to 21)

Walking distance : 11.4km
Elevation gain : 900m of ascent and 490m descent
Time required : About 5 hours *

Travel by bus from Tokushima to enjoy one of the most beautiful and varied hikes from the entire 88 route. After a short but steep uphill walk to Temple 20 Kakurin-ji, the trail descends to the hamlet of Anan, crosses the Nakagawa river and climbs again to Temple 21 Tairyu-ji. End the day with a cable car ride with wonderful views over a cedar forest and the small town below. Return by bus to Tokushima for your overnight stay.

* The walk can be shortened to about 3 hours (8.2km) by using a taxi at the start.

Meals : Breakfast / Dinner
Hotel : Tokushima
5
Kagawa (Temples 82 to 80)

Walking distance : 13.5km
Elevation gain : 335m of ascent and 655m of descent
Time required : About 5 hours

Leaving Tokushima, travel by train, bus and finally pre-booked and prepaid taxi to a rewarding hike in northern Kagawa Prefecture. Walk through lovely scenery and visit a fine collection of temples - Temple 82 Negoro-ji, Temple 81 Shiromine-ji and finally Temple 80 Kokubun-ji. Travel onwards by train for an overnight stay in the old hot-spring town of Kotohira Spa.

* The walk can be extended by 1.5 hours (5km) by walking the first section instead of travelling by taxi. The section climbs 290m along a paved road with some traffic, but good views too.
Or the walk can be shortened by 1.5 hours (5.4km) by omitting the round-trip diversion to Temple 81 Shiromine-ji.

Meals : Breakfast / Dinner
Hotel : Kotohira Spa
6
Tour ends

After breakfast, spend some time exploring Kotohira Spa. Board a train after lunch for the return journey to Osaka or Kyoto, arriving late afternoon.

Meals : Breakfast
Hotel : N/A

Most of our accommodation is Japanese style guest house and they are share bathroom.

Anraku-ji Anraku-ji Room Anraku-ji Bath

※ Example images, actual hotels may vary.

DayCityHotel NameHotel Type
1 Naruto Anraku-ji Shukubo (Pilgrims Lodging) or Ryokan (Travellers Inn)
2 Tokushima - Minshuku (Family-run Guesthouse) or Onsen Ryokan (Hot-spring Travellers Inn)
3-4 Tokushima - Ryokan (Travellers Inn) or Hotel
5 Kotohira Spa Kotobuki Ryokan Ryokan (Travellers Inn)
Tour Operator : Oxalis Holidays Limited
Hotels : 5 nights Japanese-style Rooms
Meal : 5 Breakfasts, 5 Dinners
Participants : Minimum 1
Single Room Supplement : AUD540
Type and level of walking : Strenuous - Our Strenuous tours generally have multiple dedicated days of trail walking, with some days of up to six hours or more and significant ascent and/or descent.
Walking Season : Recommended from March until early December
Departures : Any day Accommodations are busy and may charge extra during the following Japanese holiday periods: Golden Week (29 April - 05 May), and O-bon (09 - 17 August). Please enquire for availability and pricing if your trip falls within those dates.
International Flight : We offer the option of purchasing air inclusive tour packages, or land only tour packages, giving our customers the freedom to source their own flights. However, we are always more than happy to arrange your flights.
Fill in your details below to send an enquiry about this tour, and our staff will get back to you as soon as possible.
Contact Name *
Telephone Number *
E-mail * :
Country * :
Tour Date * :
Number of Person :
  • Adult (12 or older) :
  • Child (6-11) :
Message :
Page Top