Shikoku 88 Temples

andy_w

Warming-Up
Feb 4, 2009
143
4
0
Tokyo
tri-japan.blogspot.com
#1
Hi guys,

Since a few of you had asked how I got on in Shikoku around Golden Week, I should post a link to my blog here as you might all be interested in a pilgrims progress.

http://www.shikoku88templetour.blogspot.com/

In summary - it was amazing! Fantastic roads, perfect weather conditions, wonderful scenery with high mountain and ocean views - cycling around Shikoku itself is a wonderful experience. But it was made even more special by visiting all the 88 temples, following the footsteps of Kobo Daishi who grew up on the island and started the temple complex at Koya San.

I managed to cycle clockwise from temple 1 in Tokushima around to temple 88, Kagawa ken, then back to temple 1 and onwards by ferry to Wakayama finishing at Koya san in 15 days (including 1 rest day.)

Daily Distance: 50km - 146km, average 103.5km
Daily Cycling Time: 2hr 14m - 6hr 18m, average 4hr 50min
Total Distance: 1448.5km in 67hr 53min; 21.3kph
Max Speed 63.7kph

So there was a reason for carrying the heavy bike bags around on the KTseries hill training, it was necessary for reaching all the mountain top temples, thanks a lot for organising all the great training rides Alan!
 

andy_w

Warming-Up
Feb 4, 2009
143
4
0
Tokyo
tri-japan.blogspot.com
#3
Hi John, nice to read your stories as well! It takes a long time putting 88 points and details on a google map doesnt it?:)

I too made the unintentional 450m climb on the way to Ashizurimizaki, it nearly broke my knees at the end of the day! But yes, amazing descent down to the southerly tip of the cape.

Did you cycle up to temple 84? Its a vehicle only road, they refused to let me cycle up, so I pushed/rode my bike up the henro footpath instead. I have no idea why they prevent cyclists going up that road, do you?
 
Aug 17, 2007
121
0
36
Yotsuya, Tokyo
#5
Congratulations!

Andy & John,

Congratulations on two terrific adventures; I am really enjoying your blogs (when I need a break from marking)! The 88 Temples pilgrimage has been an armchair dream of mine for some years, and although I visited Shikoku for the first time last year, we (my wife and I) went by car as we had only a few days and Yukiko is not a cyclist.

But you have rekindled the flame...:pray:

Thanks!

PS: Have you read Craig McLachlan's Tales of a Summer Henro? Not on a bike, but shank's mare. Interesting account by a man who also walked from one end of Japan to the other (Four Pairs of Boots).
 
#6
This is great. THis is what I would like to do soon after I got retired. I have long been dreaming of this trip in Shikoku. I did 34 temple visits in Chichibu in three days a few years ago but this is simple. All temples are located in a small city of Chichibu.
Your description is very useful for my plan. Appreciate this information.


Minoru Arai
 

thecanty

Warming-Up
Mar 9, 2009
6
0
0
Shizuoka
#7
Hi John, nice to read your stories as well! It takes a long time putting 88 points and details on a google map doesnt it?:)

I too made the unintentional 450m climb on the way to Ashizurimizaki, it nearly broke my knees at the end of the day! But yes, amazing descent down to the southerly tip of the cape.

Did you cycle up to temple 84? Its a vehicle only road, they refused to let me cycle up, so I pushed/rode my bike up the henro footpath instead. I have no idea why they prevent cyclists going up that road, do you?
Hi Andy,

I actually cheated a bit with the google maps and created it from an excel file with the temple's data, but it still took me a while. (check out http://www.earthpoint.us/ExcelToKml.aspx if you ever need to add multiple locations to googlemaps again)

Re: Temple 84. This was one of 2 temples I didn't use my bike to reach the top:( I left it by the henro path and walked up and back down. I also walked up to temple 60 too.

Well done on making it up to Koya-san too. I didn't get chance to make it on this trip.I've been once before, but I'm looking forward to going again in the future.

PS: Have you read Craig McLachlan's Tales of a Summer Henro? Not on a bike, but shank's mare. Interesting account by a man who also walked from one end of Japan to the other (Four Pairs of Boots).
I bought this book just before I went. I was only half way through by the time I set-off. I read the 2nd half of it after my trip and it was great to be able to relate to all the places and compare his experiences with my own.


To anyone else who's thinking about doing the trip, I would highly recommend it. I had a wonderful time and the cycling was fantastic too. Kochi-ken was my personal favourite.
Even if you don't have time to do the full henro - it's still a fabulous place for a bike ride. And with night buses from Tokyo, it's pretty straightforward to get to.

Cheers,

John
 

andy_w

Warming-Up
Feb 4, 2009
143
4
0
Tokyo
tri-japan.blogspot.com
#8
A Japanese cycling henro pushed/biked up the footpath to temple 84 as well, but theres no way the toll booth can stop you on the way down the road :D

I would say to anyone, firstly, cycling in Shikoku is fantastic - you will enjoy the tour wherever you go (apart from central Takamatsu).

Secondly, there are 88 temples! It really depends how long you want to stop at each one as to how long the pilgrimage will take. For me, if I did it again I wouldn't want to take any more or any less time, that turned out to be the ideal pace for me. I set out with the idea that if I got half way round, then I can come back again in autumn to finish off the other half, you don't need to do it Tōshi-uchi (all in one trip) (but it is nice....)


This is one bike tour that I really could do again, I highly recommend this to anyone interested in Japan and cycling!
 

ankit

Warming-Up
Sep 19, 2012
1
0
1
Tokyo
#9
Hi,

I am planning to do this bike trip in mid September. Thanks for all the useful info here.

Does anyone know if bus companies allow to take the bike to shikoku (packed or otherwise)?

Thanks
Ankit
 

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
1,003
176
83
Tokyo
#10
I flew in to Tokushima, which was cheap and convenient!

Usually, none of the bus companies openly advertise bikes ok. Probably best to have a Japanese person call and ask directly.

It's an awesome trip, that will have you longing to come back. I will, sometime...