trip
NEW Trip – Ladakh Mountain Biking AdventureView Trip Details

ON SALE

$2550 USD

8 Days$2040USD

Activities
  • 8 days self-guided walking
Accommodation
  • 2 nights Shukubo temple lodgings
  • 3 nights Onsen hot spring ryokans
  • 1 night Japanese Inn
  • 1 night hotel
Meals
  • 6 Dinners
  • 7 Breakfasts
6
Moderate to Challenging
 
 

Shikoku Pilgrim Hike Trip highlights


  • Walk the scenic pilgrimage route to Shikoku Islands most atmospheric shrines
  • Gain an insight into Japanese culture and history
  • Overnight in buddhist monestaries on the trail
  • Enjoy wonderful home-cooked Japanese cuisine in small family run accommodations
  • Walk preserved ancient forest trails through the Shikoku Island
  • Bathe in the thermal waters at hot-spring onsens at the end of a days hike

The temples and trails throughout the Shikoku region are known for their stunning beauty and tranquillity, offering a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life in Japanese cities. The first modern expressway that connected Shikoku to the main island of Honshu was built in 1988, and so the island could only be reached by boat up till then. This still gives the region an isolated nature. The trails are maintained and preserved, allowing pilgrims, known as O-henro, and other travellers to experience the unique culture and history of the area. The stays at traditional inns and monastic Shukubo lodgings also offer a timeless insight into the traditional beliefs and practices of the region, making this journey a truly unforgettable experience. The entire Shikoku pilgrimage trail connects 88 Buddhist temples and the full walk covers more than a thousand kilometres. This spectacular itinerary incorporates the islands most picturesque temples and scenery.

Trip Code: SGP

Embark on an extraordinary journey starting from the cities of Kyoto or Osaka, and let the scenic long-distance bus transport you to the enchanting Tokushima Prefecture. Prepare to be captivated as you delve into the serene neighborhoods of Tokushima, immersing yourself in the essence of the Shikoku pilgrimage. Today, your pilgrimage unfolds with a delightful introduction, as you pay homage to three awe-inspiring temples along the revered Kumano Kodo trail. Marvel at the beauty of Temple 1, Ryozen-ji, followed by the tranquility of Temple 2, Gokuraku-ji, and the spiritual ambiance of Temple 3, Konsen-ji. These remarkable temples offer an unforgettable glimpse into the rich heritage of this sacred trail, spanning approximately 6 kilometers. For those seeking even more exploration, an optional extension awaits. Take a leisurely stroll along paved roads to Temple 7, Juraku-ji, adding an additional 3 kilometers and about 45 minutes to your day. As the day draws to a close, embrace the chance to experience the authentic traditions of the region by spending the night at a shukubo temple lodging. Indulge in the tranquility and ancient customs that these temple accommodations offer. Alternatively, you may choose to stay at a charming ryokan in the heart of the city for your first night, adding a touch of urban elegance to your pilgrimage experience. Accommodation: Anraku-ji in Higashihara (Temples 1 to 3. Approx 6 kms / 3.6 mi. Negligible ascent and descent.) *Prepare your small pack to forward your main luggage by Takkyubin delivery service before DAY 1 whilst you're in Kyoto or Osaka to DAY 2 accommodation in Kamiyama, where it will be waiting for your arrival. The hotel staff will assist you with these arrangements. This service is to be paid direclty and locally. Luggage transfers such as these are priced on a per piece, per transfer basis of approximately 2200 JPY per bag per transfer- weight and dimensions factor into the precise cost.

Meals:  D

From your serene temple lodging, a pre-arranged and prepaid taxi awaits to transport you to the captivating Temple 11, Fujii-dera. Nestled at the foot of a mesmerizing hillside temple complex, this site promises an immersive experience like no other. From Fujii-dera Temple, brace yourself for an exhilarating hike that leads you to the esteemed Temple 12, Shosan-ji. While this stretch of the trail is known for its length and demanding nature, spanning approximately 19 kilometers, the rewards it offers in terms of breathtaking scenery are truly worth it. Natural beauty surrounds you as you forge ahead on this challenging yet awe-inspiring journey. Make your way to the picturesque village of Yorii, where you'll board a bus destined for the tranquil onsen village of Kamiyama. Here awaits your charming Onsen Ryokan, a haven of relaxation and rejuvenation for the evening. Surrender yourself to the soothing waters of the hot springs, indulging in the blissful traditions of the Japanese onsen culture. Accommodation: Shiki no Sato Kamiyama Onsen, or similar To tailor the day's adventure to your preferences, there is a convenient option to shorten the hike to a more manageable 5-6 hours, covering approximately 14 kilometers. By simply arranging a local payment on the day itself, you can extend the taxi ride at your own cost, allowing you to bypass the initial challenging ascent up Mount Shosan-ji if you wish. (Temples 11 to 12. Approx 19 kms / 11.2 mi, 7-8 hours 1,330 m / 4,365 ft of ascent 1,210 m / 3,970 ft of descent) *Prepare your small pack to forward your main luggage by Takkyubin delivery service to Dogo Onsen on DAY 6 where it will be waiting for your arrival. The hotel staff will assist you with these arrangements. This service is to be paid direclty and locally. Luggage transfers such as these are priced on a per piece, per transfer basis of approximately 2200 JPY per bag per transfer- weight and dimensions factor into the precise cost.

Meals:  B,D

Conveniently board a pre-paid taxi, as you venture towards one of the most captivating and diverse hikes along the renowned 88 Pilgrimage route. Prepare to be enchanted by the breathtaking landscapes that await you on this extraordinary trail. Your adventure commences at Temple 20, Kakurin-ji, a site of exquisite beauty and significance. From there, the trail gracefully descends, guiding you through the charming hamlet of Anan. Crossing the tranquil Nakagawa River, you will ascend once again, leading you to the majestic Temple 21, Tairyu-ji. As the day draws to a close, treat yourself to an unforgettable experience by boarding a cable car ride. Marvel at the magnificent views that unfold before you, as you gaze upon a sea of cedar trees and the picturesque small town nestled below. To conclude this remarkable day, a bus will take you to your Western-style accommodation for the evening. Accommodation: Agnes Hotel in Tokushima, or similar. (Temples 20 to 21. Approx 8.2 km / 5.1 mi, 3-4 hours, 460 m / 1,510 ft ascent, 470 m / 1,540 ft descent)

Meals:  B

Depart Tokushima by bus and pre-paid taxi transport, leading you to a gratifying hike in the enchanting northern region of Kagawa Prefecture. The first stop on this spiritual adventure today is Temple 82, Negoro-ji. Experience the tranquility that permeates this sacred site. From there, continue to Temple 81, Shiromine-ji, where you can marvel at its beauty and soak in the spiritual ambiance. If you wish to shorten the walk and save approximately 1.5 hours, you have the option to omit the round-trip section to Temple 81. Concluding this leg, make your way to the final temple, Temple 80, Kokubun-ji. Then travel onwards by local train to the picturesque old hot spring town of Kotohira Spa. Here, nestled amidst historical charm, awaits your overnight sanctuary—a traditional Ryokan. Accommodation: Kotobuki Ryokan in Kotohira Spa, or similar. (Temples 82 to 80. Approx 13.5 km / 8.4 mi, 5 hours, 335 m / 1,100 ft ascent, 655 m / 2,150 ft. By omitting the round-trip section to Temple 81, Shiromine-ji, you can shorten the hike by approximately 5.5 kilometers).

Meals:  B,D

You have a full day to explore Kotohira Onsen. Visit the Shinto shrine Konpira-dai-gongen, located halfway up Mount Zozu at an elevation of 521 metres. Try the famous local delicacy: delicious, handmade, thick udon noodles. You may also wish to visit the Konpira Grand Theatre, Kanamaruza Kabuki Hall, the oldest original kabuki theatre in Japan, and Temple 75, Zentsu-ji, birthplace of Kobo Daishi, founder of Shingon Buddhism. Overnight in Kotohira Onsen.

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast, you will travel to Japan’s oldest hot spring town, Dogo Onsen, said to have 3,000 years of history. After arriving, you will have time dedicated to sightseeing around the town. Visit one of the myriad of cafés and restaurants in the old-fashioned Dogo Onsen shopping arcade, the famous Dogo bathhouse, Dogo Park, or Matsuyama Castle. We highly recommend a visit to Temple 51, Ishite-ji, which hosts several buildings designated as Important Cultural Properties. Overnight in Dogo Onsen. *Prepare your small pack to forward your main luggage by Takkyubin delivery service to your post tour accommodation arrangements on DAY 8 where it will be waiting for your arrival. The hotel staff will assist you with these arrangements. This service is to be paid direclty and locally. Luggage transfers such as these are priced on a per piece, per transfer basis of approximately 2200 JPY per bag per transfer- weight and dimensions factor into the precise cost.

Meals:  B,D

From Matsuyama, a combination of bus and pre-paid taxi transportation awaits, leading you to the revered Temple 45, Iwaya-ji. This temple holds a significant connection to Kobo Daishi, the revered priest who founded Shingon Buddhism and established the temple settlement of Mount Koya. As you arrive at Iwaya-ji Temple, embrace the opportunity to climb the iconic ladder that leads to Kobo Daishi's meditation spot. From this vantage point, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views that stretch across the surrounding region. Allow yourself to be captivated by the beauty and serenity of the landscape, a sight that will surely leave an indelible mark on your journey. Continuing your pilgrimage, relish in a delightful forest hike that leads you to Temple 44, Daiho-ji. Meandering through the enchanting woods, you'll experience the tranquility and natural splendor that envelops this sacred path. As the day draws to a close, return to Matsuyama by bus, where you can indulge in the timeless charm of Dogo Onsen. Enjoy a restful night in the soothing hot springs that have been cherished for centuries. (Temples 45 to 44. Approx 11.7 km / 7.3 mi, 4 hours, 650 m / 1,900 ft ascent, 580 m / 820 ft descent)

Meals:  B,D

Conclude your extraordinary journey with a fulfilling hike in the eastern region of Ehime Prefecture. From Matsuyama, a combination of bus and pre-paid taxi transportation, guiding you to the trailhead. Set foot on the path that leads you to an enchanting trio of temples: Temple 60, Yokomine-ji; Temple 61, Koon-ji; and Temple 62, Hoju-ji. After the invigorating hike, continue your journey by train, heading towards the vibrant Kansai area. The train ride provides a moment of relaxation as you bask in the memories of the pilgrimage you have undertaken. Arriving in the mid-evening, you'll have ample time to settle into your next destination. By deciding on the day itself and arranging a local payment, you can extend the taxi ride at your own cost, bypassing the initial uphill section and allowing for a more comfortable and manageable hiking experience. As you conclude this remarkable journey, reflect on the transformative experiences, breathtaking landscapes, and the spiritual connection forged along the sacred pilgrimage trail. (Temples 60 to 62. Approx 13.7 km / 8.5 mi, 4-5 hours, 650 m / 1,900 ft ascent, 580 m / 820 ft descent. To tailor the hike according to your preferences, there is an option to reduce the overall distance by approximately one hour, shortening it to around 11.3 kilometers).

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts and 6 dinners
  • 2 nights shukubo temple lodgings twin share basis
  • 3 nights onsen hot spring ryokans twin share basis
  • 1 night Japanese Inn
  • 1 night Western style hotel
  • Information pack including route notes and topographical maps
  • Round-trip transportation from Kyoto or Osaka
  • 5 pre-paid taxis as per itinerary details
  • Local support by telephone

  • International airfare, visa and travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Meals and beverages not indicated in the program
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls, alcohol etc
  • Takkyubin Luggage transfers payable directly at your own cost
  • Local bus fares payable directly at your own cost
  • Optional taxi distance extensions payable directly at your own cost
  • Any local entrance fees

Departure dates

Daily departure from March through November

Notes

P
Shikoku Self-Guided - PeakSeason Surcharge 2024
H
High Season
Note:
Seasonal pricing supplements may apply at different times of the year. Our consultants will confirm on booking.
NB:
Availability is limited on these trips and changes quickly. We encourage you to contact us early if you are interested in this trip.

Dates don't fit?
Create a Private Trip

If you have your own group, talk to us about turning this itinerary into your own private adventure.

Priceper person from

$2040USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single Supplement - Shikoku Pilgrim WalkUSD$710
  • Single Traveller Surcharge - Shikoku Pilgrim WalkUSD$710
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Shikoku Self-Guided Pilgrim Hike trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Shikoku Pilgrim Hike Trip reviews


Other trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Our vision is to leave the world a better place by following our sustainable active outdoor travel charter. All our adventures are 100% carbon offset and our Regenerative 2030 Project aims to integrate ‘regenerative’ projects into every one of our global operations by 2030.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips