After our mini Pilgrimage we swapped our shoes for train tickets. With a 4-day All Shikoku Railpass we circled around the island. In Matsuyama we enjoyed a bath at Dogō Onsen one of the oldest Onsen in Japan. During the journey to Uwajima we stopped in Uchiko, where we took a look at the manufacturing of japanese candles made from the Sumac tree. Further south we explored the banks of the Shimanto river on bicycles, before continuing to Kochi. There we strolled through Sunday’s market before completing our island circle in Imabari.
As we spent less time in the Alps than assumed, we got plenty time to visit the smallest of Japan’s four main islands: Shikoku.
In Kōbō Daishi’s (Kūkai) footsteps we walked a 4-day Kugiri-Uchi (section) along the “88 Sacred Semple Route”. During our Gyaku-uchi Henro (walking in reverse order) we visited the temple No. 83 through 68 (skipping No. 70). Even without the traditional pilgrim clothing (white robe, conical straw hat, wooden staff, etc.) we have been recognized as walking henro and made many friendly encounters.