Along Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage Route you will be able to see a lot of beautiful scenes such as rice field, street cars, lJapanese traditional gardens, Shinto shrines and so on. Each temple has its own atmosphere, unique buildings and the beautiful garden covered with moss. Surely, you will be satisfied with these things, but I recommend three unforgettable and heartwarming scenes which I saw and made me happy. I’m sure you will get fascinated by these scenes and try to find your own unexpected scenes and encounters along Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage Route. This blog will surely help you have the hints about how to find these scenes.
Osettai ( offerings from local people to pilgrims )
Along the route of the pilgrimage local people offer food, drinks and even the shelter to the pilgrims. This act or the gift is called “osettai.” Undoubtedly, many pilgrims are surprised by the kindness of the people on Shikoku. Whenever local people see Ohenro pilgrims walking in their neighborhood, some of them give some osettai to the pilgrims. When I was a kid, my mother urged me to give some oranges to a pilgrim and I offered him oranges. He thanked me and bowed politely. But, why do local people have continued this custom for a long time? Shall we find the answer?
Along the route there are some signboards which local people wrote to cheer up the pilgrims. These were written by elementary school pupils. Because of the hardship of the long pilgrimage, the pilgrims sometimes want to stop the walking, but, unexpectedly they see these encouraging signboards and can receive energy to continue the walking. If you join my tour, you may have opportunities to watch different words for you.
Ordinary Houses along The Pilgrimage Route
Maybe you can’t believe your eyes. This is also Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage Route. This narrow alley is lined with ordinary houses. And also along the alley there are gardens where local people grow some fruits. So, pilgrims sometimes have opportunities to talk with local people.
Of course, you will be fascinated by traditional temples and beautiful Buddhist statues during Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage Walking. On the other hand, some pilgrims get tired of walking for a long time and want to stop walking. But, at that time you meet local people who offer you the power and energy so that you can continue the walking. As a local guide, I will show you the spots where these encounters occur.
Please refer to my Kochi - Henro Pilgrimage, Zazen Meditation & Shakyo Writing.