88 Temple Pilgrimage
Reflecting at one of the 88 temples.
The 88 Temple Pilgrimage is one of Japan's best kept secrets. Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism, traveled this very pilgrimage to gain enlightenment. Shingon translates to 'clear word'. Regardless of religious, culture, socio-economic background this circuit should be a must do for everyone. This pilgrimage is tucked away on the Skikoku island of Japan and takes pilgrims thru the ins and outs of the islands. Learn centuries old stories and tales of this pilgrimage. Share in the comradary of other pilgrims, gain valuable cultural insight to the Japanese culture first hand. While on this pilgrimage (beside my travel companions) I didn't encounter a single foreigner. I was embraced by other pilgrims as an equal with no regard for cultural and ethnic differences. The views of the mountain temples are breathtaking and the silence of the long walks and remote temples is golden. Stay at local inns along the pilgrimage and feast on fish and rice over dinner with other pilgrims and let them regale you with stories of pilgrimages page. Begin and end your stay on mount Koya, the resting place of Kobo Daishi, befriend the local monks who live in the monastery on top of the mountain and explore the tiny mountain town that protects the seat of this glorious experience.
By Kimie James
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