Shikoku 88
February 21, 2023 5:56 AM   Subscribe

I'm interested in walking the Shikoku 88 Temple Route. I am very interested in hiking/trekking/walking trips in general. Has anyone done this route? And in the summer? And/or recently?

I saw this previous question which definitely did not seem pro-Shikoku route. However, it still sounds interesting to me. I was just wondering if anyone here has done it and is able to provide additional details re recommended books, accommodations, ease of being a non-Japanese speaker, whether you meet others en route (also is it crowded?) And so on. Unfortunately, I would probably have to go during the summer due to my teaching job.

(I have done three of the Caminos in Spain prior to Covid and really loved them. I also want to visit Nepal etc but I like the idea of the fixed route/spiritual element also- and I'm worried about my sometimes-temperamental knees going up a million stairs unfortunately).

Thank you.
posted by bquarters to Travel & Transportation (3 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I've visited maybe a dozen or so temples on the route in Shikoku, but most of this was getting around by train with some walking mixed in. The plan was a short trip around Shikoku with the temples being points of interest. Most of the people you see at the temples will be on bus tours or a couple of people walking between close together temples. I agree that the temples themselves aren't too impressive but that's not the point.

Another option instead of the Shikoku 88 would be walking one of the Kumano Kodo routes. It is mountainous and even though there is a path and has steps it is more of a hike than a walk. You can do the main one in about a week and it has a twinning program with the Camino so if you complete both you can get a special certificate commemorating it.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 8:09 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]

I don’t have any experience, but Kumano Kodo might be of interest
posted by raccoon409 at 9:21 AM on February 21

I did half of the Kumano Kodo several years ago (pre-Covid) in spring and it was fantastically well signed/maintained and as a result the hiking was easier than I expected. The whole hike is typically 5 days but I think there are both extensions and if you were in particularly good shape you could do it in less time. I booked ryokan/inns through this locally run website. We spoke to a number of other travelers at the guesthouses we stayed at but I wouldn’t considered it crowded. Most of the other travelers were American/European and in their 50s.

Feel free to MeMail me if you have specific questions.
posted by A Blue Moon at 11:04 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]

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