Tales of an Unlikely Pilgrim: Walking the Henro Pilgrimage of Shikoku, Japan

Welcome to Tyler Walks, a living journal and photo gallery of my upcoming visit to the island of Shikoku, Japan. Shikoku is the smallest of the four main islands of Japan. For hundreds of years, thousands of people every year complete some or all of the Henro Pilgrimage. The vast majority of these pilgrims are Japanese, and do it as part of the religious faith. The Henro Pilgrimage is a 750 mile long pilgrimage largely around the circumference of Shikoku, comprised of visiting 88 Buddhist temples associated with the Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi, or Kukai as he was later to be known. While most Henro pilgrims today make their journey by car or bus tour, I’m going to attempt to walk as much of the trail as I can in the 30 days I’ll be in Japan. Yikes!

I have been granted the wonderful opportunity to visit Japan to learn about and experience rural Japanese life. I hope to apply those experiences in my life and to my community in rural Nebraska. At the top you’ll find a link to my journal as well as a link to my photo gallery. I hope to provide daily updates of my trip (as internet connection allows) to share with you the wonderful Japanese culture, incredible food (!!!), beautiful scenery, and just how absolutely unprepared I am both mentally and physically to walk 350+ miles during my trip. Follow along for what I anticipate will be an exciting and wild adventure. And lots of complaining about my feet hurting.

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