Please start at Day One

About the Shikoku Pilgrimage, and me.四国遍路と私について

© Kazuko Morishita
I am a 39 year old Police Officer, living and working in London.
In the spring of 2011 I travelled to Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, to complete the 88 Temple Pilgrimage, and I recorded all of my experiences on this blog.

The pilgrimage, said to have been founded by Buddhist monk Koubou Daishi (774-835) is a 1,200km circular route, encompassing 88 Buddhist temples. Pilgrims 'henro' can be recognised by wearing a traditional white vest 'hakui' and a sedge hat 'sugegasa', and by carrying a staff 'kongouzue'. They visit the 88 temples in turn, receiving an official temple stamp in a blank book 'noukyouchou' as proof that they have visited each temple.

Each year at least 100,000 people take part in this pilgrimage; by car, motorbike, bus tour or even helicopter, but only a small amount of people – including me – choose the traditional method. I had originally intended to walk the entire route in about 50 days, but I took the occasional bus and train journey, and completed the pilgrimage in 40 days, including 4 rest days.

As well as the 88 temples, I had also planned to modify my route to include a number of police boxes 'kouban'. Working as a Neighbourhood Policing Team officer myself, I was interested in experiencing the kouban, which serve as small neighbourhood police stations within the community. However, this was not as easy as I had hoped and became less of a focus on my pilgrimage.

For more detailed information about the 88 Temple Pilgrimage, I can recommend this site: