Guided Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage trail & Mt Koya

Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage self-guided walking Join us in experiencing the highlights of the ancient pilgrimage trails of Shikoku Island. The Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage Trail circumnavigates this mountainous subtropical island and we will be doing selected sections of the long trail. The focus will be on enjoying the landscape and culture of Japan: beautiful mountain temples, the hospitality of isolated rural valleys, onsen hot springs and great food in a small group of maximum 10 people. May is a reliably good season for walking in Japan with the added attraction of fresh new spring growth, wild mountain azaleas and wisteria.

This tour requires a strong fitness level to manage up to 7 hours of walking with ascents and descents on forest & mountain trails - average distance per day is 11.5km. We will use a luggage forwarding service and carry only day-packs.

Cost to be determined once firm numbers are known - past guided walks have averaged AUD4,000 for 10 days, land-content only. All dinners & breakfasts are included. Pre- and post-tour travel can be arranged.

Your guide Relle Mott has had a 40 year connection with Japan, and is an experienced walking guide with Japanese language skills.

Price : From AUD4,000
Price : From AUD4,000
Duration : 9 nights 10 days
Tour Start : Tokushima
Tour End : Kyoto or Osaka
Walking days : 7 days
Tour Date : 04 May 2018 (good season for walking in Japan)
Route : Tokushima (Temple 1, 2, 3, 20, 21, 11 and 12) ⇒ Mt Tsurugi ⇒ Mt Kumakogen Highlands ⇒ Ehime (Temple 45, 44, 60, 61 and 62) ⇒ Kagawa (Temple 82, 81, 80) ⇒ Mt Koya ⇒ Kyoto or Osaka
Includes : 10 nights accommodation, 10 Breakfasts and 10 Dinners, All transportation during the tour, Train ticket to Kyoto or Osaka, English and Japanese speaking guide
Relle Mott

Relle Mott

A lifelong connection with Japan has imbued in Relle a keen appreciation of the culture, history, arts and landscape of this amazing country.
Relle studied in Japan in the 1980's, leading to a career as a secondary Japanese language teacher, followed by a change into Horticulture and Landscape Design, working for 12 years at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney in Education and Public Programs.
Frequently returning to Japan over the years to get her fix of Zen gardens, food, ceramics, onsen and ancient walking trails, bi-lingual Relle knows Japan like a local. Since 2013, Relle has shared her love of Japan with small groups, leading walking tours on carefully crafted itineraries to experience the best of ancient and contemporary Japan.

A walking holiday through beautiful rural and mountain landscapes with a specialist guide, staying in unique Japanese inns and wonderful hot springs is a very different travel experience – a rejuvenating escape from the everyday.

DayEvent / Visit
04 May (Fri)
JR Tokushima Station Hotel Clement Hotel Clement Lounge Hotel Clement Room

Arrive Tokushima - stay at Hotel Clement to allow for easy tour start on Saturday, welcome dinner.

Meals : Dinner
Hotel : Tokushima
05 May (Sat)

Walking distance : 6.0km
Elevation gain : Flat walking through rural landscape

Ryozenji01 Ryozenji02 Gokurakuji Konsenji

Train to start of walk temples 1,2 & 3 in Tokushima.

Stay at Tokushima Hotel Clement again.

Meals : Breakfast / Dinner
Hotel : Tokushima
06 May (Sun)

Walking distance : 11.4km
Elevation gain : 900m ascent and 490m descent

Kakurinji01 Kakurinji02 Tairyuji01 Tairyuji02

Vehicle transfer to walk temples 20 & 21, vehicle transfer from end of walk to accommodation.

Stay at Kamiyama onsen, Shiki no Sato.

Meals : Breakfast / Dinner
Hotel : Kamiyama onsen
07 May (Mon)

Walking distance : 19.2km
Elevation gain : 1,330m ascent and 1,210m descent

Fujiidera01 Fujiidera02 Shosanji01 Shosanji02

Vehicle transfer to walk temples 11 & 12.

Stay at Kamiyama onsen, Shiki no Sato.

Meals : Breakfast / Dinner
Hotel : Kamiyama onsen
08 May (Tue)

Walking distance : 4.0km
Elevation gain : 330m ascent and 330m descent

Mt Tsurugi01 Mt Tsurugi02 Mt Tsurugi03 Mt Tsurugi04

Vehicle transfer to walk Mt Tsurugi. Trek Mt Tsurugi area. Then vehicle transfer to vine bridge and Iya valley.

Stay at Chiiori.

Meals : Breakfast / Dinner
Hotel : Iya Valley farmhouse
09 May (Wed)

Walking distance : 11.7km
Elevation gain : 650m ascent and 580m descent on mountain trails

Daihoji01 Daihoji02 Iwayaji Dogo Onsen

Vehicle transfer (about 2 hours) to walk temples 44 & 45.

Transfer to Dogo Onsen Spa town. Stay at Sachiya Ryokan

Meals : Breakfast / Dinner
Hotel : Dogo Onsen
10 May (Thu)

Walking distance : 13.7km
Elevation gain : 620m ascent and 870m descent

Yokomineji Koonji Hojuji Kotohira Onsen

Vehicle transfer to walk temples 60,61 & 62. Walk Temples 60, 61 & 62

Train transfer to Kotohira Spa town, stay at Sankaku onsen

Meals : Breakfast / Dinner
Hotel : Kotohira Onsen
11 May (Fri)

Walking distance : 13.5km
Elevation gain : 335m ascent and 665m descent

Kokubunji01 Kokubunji02 Shiromineji Negoroji

Transfer to Takamatsu by train, then Walk Temples 80, 81 & 82

Stay at JR Hotel Clement Takamatsu

Meals : Breakfast / Dinner
Hotel : Takamatsu
12 May (Sat)
Ritsurin Garden01 Ritsurin Garden02 Ritsurin Garden03 Nankai Ferry

In the morning, visit Ritsurin Garden

Option to conclude here - 7 Day walkers finish in Takamatsu and return by train to Osaka or flight to Tokyo


In the afternoon, transfer to Wakayama by train and ferry

Stay at APA Hotel Wakayama

Meals : Breakfast / Dinner
Hotel : Wakayama
13 May (Sun)
Koyasan01 Koyasan02 Koyasan03 Eko-in

Train to Mt Koya. Experience this beautiful mountain Buddhist temple complex which is headquarter of the Shingon sect founded by Kobo Daishi and his mausoleum a fitting finale to our pilgrimage trail walk

Meals : Breakfast / Dinner
Hotel : Mt Koya
14 May (Mon)

Participate in dawn Zen Buddhist service & fire ceremony in Koya-san Temple

Return by train to Osaka or Kyoto

Walk concludes

Meals : Breakfast
Hotel : N/A

Accommodation will be carefully selected, mid-range, western hotels and traditional Japanese inns, twin-share where possible.

Chiiori Chiiori Room Chiiori Bath

※ Day 5, Chiiori

DayCityHotel NameHotel Type
1-2 Tokushima JR Hotel Clement Tokushima or similar Hotel (Western-style Room)
3-4 Kamiyama Onsen Shikino Sato or similar Onsen Ryokan (Hot-spring Travellers Inn)
5 Iya Valley Chiiori Farmhouse
6 Dogo Onsen Sachiya or similar Onsen Ryokan (Hot-spring Travellers Inn)
7 Kotohira Onsen Kotosankaku or similar Onsen Ryokan (Hot-spring Travellers Inn)
8 Takamatsu JR Hotel Clement Takamatsu or similar Hotel (Western-style Room)
9 Wakayama APA Hotel Wakayama or similar Business Hotel (Western-style Room)
10 Mount Koya Eko-in Shukubo Shukubo
Your Guide : Relle Mott
Hotels : 4 nights Western, 6 nights Japanese-style Rooms
Meal : 10 Breakfasts, 10 Dinners
Max-Participants : 10 People
Single Room Supplement : Please ask (Single supplement not always being available. e.g. Sharing tatami rooms might be necessary, sleeping on the floor on futon in traditional accommodation.)
Track Grade : track gradeGrade 4 (based on the Australian Walking Track Grading System) - The Shikoku 88 trail is on a mix of paved roads, paths and unpaved forest trails, slippery at times, with a variety of flat and mountainous terrain. Walking poles recommended.
Trip Level : Strenuous - with sections of ascent and descent, and up to 7 hours hiking on some days.
Meeting Point : JR Hotel Clement Tokushima in Tokushima City (official website or map) on 04 May 2018
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.
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