Why is Kukai
(嬻奀) called Kobo Daishi(峅朄戝巘)?
The reason is because that Emperor Daigo
(戠岉揤峜) awarded posthumous name, "Kobo-Daishi(峅朄戝巘)" to Kukai(嬻奀) after his death.
That is the year 921 AD.(Kukai
(嬻奀) has died in 835 AD)

Well, what is "Shikoku Pilgrimage"?

It is said that all 88 sanctuaries in Shikoku are related to Kobo-Daishi
It is said that Kobo-Daishi
(峅朄戝巘) has also connected the 88 places and made the whole Shikoku sanctuary.
But,It's only just a legend.


Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage Bicycle Camping Trip.
I did a "Visit to Shikoku Pilgrimage 88 Temples" by bicycle camping trip.

I did not use the ropeway.

Bicycle reminds me of Slope.
Let's see the main slopes of 88 temples.


I went to Shikoku with my plan to be climbing all slope with my own foot..
The total distance 1570 km. I stayed at a tent accommodation, business hotel, inn.
This is a record of the pilgrimage for 21 days.
I received kindness from various people. It was a pleasant pilgrimage.

View from the map ... Click the number on the map and it will jump to that page.

Click here to see from the list丒丒丒丒丒丒丒丒List Display

First of all, There is no firm evidence that Kukai(嬻奀) made a "Shikoku Pilgrimage 88 places".
Nobody knows who began to say such a thing that Kukai(嬻奀) began "Shikoku pilgrimage 88 places".

It's not known well that the clear connection between "Shikoku-Pilgrimage" and "Kobo-Daishi
(峅朄戝巘)" anyways.

Firstly, from the end of the ancient period to the beginning of the Middle Ages, there were many sacred sites in Shikoku beach
(奀昹) and Satoyama(棦嶳)(It's forest near populated area).
In this sanctuary,individual practitioner of austerities(廋峴幰) gathered like twos and threes and was training themselves.
A shrine or ancestral hall was built in this sanctuary, and Buddhas and gods with relationships were welcomed.

In the eighth century, a superstar named Kukai
(嬻奀) was born in this world. (774.3.21 to 835.4.22)
In ancient human society all the values of people were judged on the status.
The necessary conditions of the great man defined by people was that his status was high.
Human value has been decided by that social position and the goodness of the pedigree.
(嬻奀) was born as a member of high status clan in Sanuki(嶿婒).

Kukai entered the university of the Heian-capital(current Kyoto) at the age of 18, and left school half-way immediately, and He was living together with the vagabond, fugitives, and the self-priests etc until 31-year-old.

It is said that Kukai
(嬻奀) was doing Buddhist training during this period, in Awa(垻攇),Tosa(搚嵅) etc.
And When Kukai
(嬻奀) was 31years old, suddenly he went to Heiankyo暯埨嫗(current Kyoto), learned the Dainichi-kyou(戝擔宱), and He joined to a member of the Kentoushi(尛搨巊).
It is a mystery how he could do such a thing.

(尛搨巊)=Japanese missions to Tang China.
To interact with Tang China gathering overseas situation, gathering China's advanced technology,and gathering Buddhist scriptures.

Kukai(嬻奀) crossed the sea and went to Tang(搨). Then, he met the high priest 's Keika(宐壥). Keika(宐壥) recognized Kukai(嬻奀)'s talent and gave the secret of the Shingon-Mikkyo(恀尵枾嫵)).
(宐壥)died. Kukai(嬻奀) shortened the schedule of the 20year study abroad period to about a year and a half and returned to Japan carry with a lot of Buddhist scriptures(枾嫵宱揟), esoteric Buddhist priests(枾嫵暓嬶).
At this time, many good fortune happened to overlap and Kukai(嬻奀) was able to return to Japan in 2 years.

After returning Japan, Kukai(嬻奀)got to be familiar to the Emperor and the people as a extraordinary excellent high priest.
He was also tolerant to authorities.
Kukai(嬻奀) accepted other Buddhism and assimilated it in his religion..
In that way the excellence of Kukai's knowledge and Esoteric Buddhist teachings was advertised to the world.
Kukai(嬻奀) felt free go to the rural areas also. He also went to Hakone
(敔崻) and Izusan(埳摛嶳). He also visited Kanto and Tohoku.
Kukai(嬻奀) built the temple. He completed the Mannou Pond(枮擹抮).
Kukai gained the reputation of the Emperor and the nobility,won also public confidence. and He started activitied freely.
Kukai(嬻奀) built a temple at Koyasan
(崅栰嶳) in Kii-country(婭埳崙).He did not stay long time in Touji(搶帥) or Takaosanji (崅梇嶳帥).and he did not stay long time anywhere.
He also stepped foot into the place called Reizan
(楈嶳) of remote areas.
Kukai(嬻奀) also went to Nikko Mountain
(擔岝嶳),went to Hakone and Izu(埳摛).
These Kukai's behavior had build up the legendary factors of "doing on pilgrimages to various temples
(弰楌)" , "the construction of the temple" related to Kukai(嬻奀).

And, in the eleventh century the faith activities of Kobo-Daishi(峅朄戝巘) became flourish. Because Kukai(嬻奀) was born in Sanuki(嶿婒) and studied in Shikoku in early childhood Shikoku(巐崙) began to occupy an important position in faith.

Also, as a result of Hijiri's activities, the legend of Kukai(嬻奀) grew even bigger.
Especially among them, the huge virtual image of Kobo-Daishi(峅朄戝巘) had gradually completed by the activity of Koya-Hijiri(崅栰惞) which had been frequently performed.

Shikoku-88-temples are ,almost intentionally, believed to be made by Kobo-Daishi.
But,There is also the fact that the temple where the excellent holy name familiar to people remained is quietly incorporated into "Holy Land of the Daishi".

The legendary Kobo-Daishi(峅朄戝巘) statue is very similar to figure of of the famous or anonymous
Hijiri more than the real image of Kukai(嬻奀).
Kobo-Daishi legend can only be said to have been expressed with the fictional character borrowed.

Because, there are people's hardship against the background.Various difficulties constantly were raiding a closed-in village.
Dry weather 丒 cold 丒 famine 丒 sickness etc.
Village folk were potentially waiting for somebody to come from the outside and kind enough save the village from devastation.
In that sense,Kobo-Daishi was exactly a savior.

People felt the visitor that was a savior (Kobo-Daishi) and was seeking a visit.

In this way, Based on "Such this Shikoku Pilgrimage", The activities of various saints and the faith of Kobo Daishi overlaped In a chain,Shikoku Pilgrimage gradually established.

However, the era have not come yet until a lot of people go out to Shikoku Pilgrimage.
There was the reason yet why ordinary people could not go to Shikoku Pilgrimage.

In the Middle Ages, Temples and shrines that owns the manor considered try to earn an income not only from"Za
(嵗)" but also "Sekisen(娭慘)".

Shrines and temples, the owner of the manor,tried to earn not only income from Za(嵗) but also income from Sekisen(娭慘).
Numerous Sekisho-places to impose tolls upon passersby was made.
Hijiri's Shikoku-Yuukou(巐崙梀峴) and Kanjin(姪恑) are painful eternal act that he may die in unknown countries, unknown land.
Compared to that, the act of the big temple with a manor is a massive earning process without any hardships.

Za(嵗)= a trade association by commercial and industrialists and entertainers who existed from the Heian period until the Warring States period.
Sekisen(娭慘) = a toll tax set at major points of transportation in medieval Japan.

Shikoku-Yuukou(巐崙梀峴)=Walking around Shikoku for training
Kanjin=(姪恑)Holy preaching Buddhism and gathering donations for temples and shrines.

The temple shrine got money forcibly, taking advantage of his own advantageous position.
Temple's all member collected money in a way of unconcerned about the ugliness of one's effort.
In such a situation, people's movement was difficult.
The economy stagnated.People were not easy even to live.
Only the temples were living in comfort.

And war broke out frequently.
The farm field was trampled.
Looting and robbery by soldiers happened like every day.And famine / disaster struck like every year.

Epidemic disease prevailed.Besides,The annual rice tax pay is collected without any mercy.

There were too many upper side people who get and consume annual rice tax.

Royal family 丒 a court noble 丒 public serva 丒 samurai 丒 temple shrine religious 丒 priest, god military 丒 regional ruling 丒 regional official etc.
These nonproductive hierarchies were plundering farmer's taxes.

Nobunaga appeared here.
(怣挿) destroyed these bad habits and implemented Chigyousei(抦峴惂).
Chigyousei = In Samurai society, a system that gives capture a certain land control.
And these hierarchies were wiped out.
(娭強) was also abolished.

In this way the policy of Nobunaga and Hideyoshi(廏媑) who did not like the Gods and the Buddha became an ironical result that contributed to the shrine and temple visit of people.

The Tokugawa
(摽愳) regime, which inherited the nationwide unification, established laws for the Daimyo(戝柤), the court and the temple companies, respectively, and made various kinds of tightening controls.

At the same time, the Tokugawa government also restricted freedom of vocational selection for farmers,regulation of Movement of farmers,restricted daily life to detail.

However, funds used for military affairs have became to use for peaceful use, and even though regulation has been strengthened, the economy has continued to develop.
This is not an accurate statistic but an estimate, but the population of Japan, which was 12 million in 1600, has increased to 30 million around 1700.

However even though the degree of faith became thick and economically rich,
it did not mean that everybody came to be able to do Shikoku Pilgrimage.
It did not go easy.
Sightseeing and playing can not be tolerated at all during the trip.
People have to keep walking for dozens of days while doing penance to wear away the body,wear out his nerves.

In 1653, Chouzen(悷慣)-monk(廋峴憁) who was a professional in the pilgrimage, did a pilgrimage.
(悷慣) crossed the sea and went to Tokushima and began to go around from the 17th Idoji temple(堜屗帥). After visiting up to No.88(戝孍帥),
He pilgrimaged the rest temple,He visited the1st temple Ryouzenji
(楈嶳帥) and finished the pilgrimage.
It was a pilgrimage of continuous of tremendous hardship.
He managed to achieve the pilgrimage at the die on the verge and He left a precious diary.
It took 91 days.
Efficiency is good if It start from Idoji
(堜屗帥). He said so.

Chouzen is a professional to practice Buddhist asceticisms.
Each temple made him a good night's sleep as a bond between same professional but the general public will not be dealt that way.
Neither temples nor private houses will lend an inn for ordinary people.

There is no word 88 in the diary of Chouzen,but among the temples taken up, all the current 88 temples are included.

Approximately 40 years after
Chouzen's (悷慣)"Shikoku Pilgrim Diary", Shikoku Buddhist Templeguidebook was continuously published three books.

Unlike Chouzen's "Shikoku Pilgrim Diary", these three volumes were published in large quantities against unspecified number of readers.
In other words, the Shikoku Pilgrimage which only certain people had done has grown into a thing that the general public participates a lot in the last 40 years.
It means that a big change has occurred in Shikoku Pilgrimage.
The number of temples in this book is 93 temples, yet the number 88 still does not come out.

Alternatively, already"eighty-eight" may be used meaning "a lot", but I do not know.
People who made this books are
"Shinnen(恀擮)" and "Jakuhon(庘杮)"

Shinnen(恀擮) already had a pilgrimage experience of 20 or more times.
In addition, the
Shinnen(恀擮) set up roads, set up signs, and improved the accommodation.
Although the printing and publication of the
Shinnen(恀擮) took a huge amount of money, many sponsors participated.

Shinnen 's book
(恀擮),"Shikoku-Henromichi-Shinan(巐崙曊楬摴巜撿)" was the number one selling book out of those 3 books.
This book became a long seller throughout the Edo period. Shinan
(巜撿)=guide book
About Shikoku 88 places, for the first time a guidebook of "Shinnen(恀擮)Jakuhon(庘杮)" was published.
At last,
A lot of people started the Shikoku Pilgrimage from this time.

View from the map乧Click the number on the map and it will jump to that page.

By airplane, from Haneda to Takamatsu Airport.

I started from the 83rd temple.

I will write about the slope.
The gear is a front wheel 30 亊 rear wheel 27.Road bike, tire 700C 亊 28, with front and rear carriers.

(從嶳帥)Shouzanji Slope乧乧乧乧 I got a luggage placed at the Sudachi-kan inn at the end of the street and I went up.There is no place to push. On a road bike, it is not a slope that will be a problem so much.

(掃椦帥)Slope of Kakurinji乧乧乧乧I got up with my baggage loaded. I pressed it many times and pushed further just before the temple.

(懢棿帥)Slope of Taryuuji乧乧乧乧I spent a lot of time grasping the condition of this slope.There is no record of this slope.The record of the street view is until the entrance of the slope.
I put my baggage on the roadside and climbed.
Here is a steep slope.
It is as steep as the approach of Mitake-san in Okutama.

(恄曱帥)Slope of Kounomineji乧乧乧乧For slopes,We have to consider the slope and length, the condition of the road surface and the traffic volume.
In the case of Taiyuji, people who come by car almost ride the ropeway, so traffic volume is small.

However, here (the slope of Kounomineji) there are only a roadway and a sidewalk along that roadway, and a lot of cars will pass.
I think it is best to arrive at the temple before a big bus arrives, early in the morning.
I left my luggage in a souvenir shop and lightened my bicycle and went up.

(墶曯帥)Slope of Yokomineji乧乧乧乧I deposited my luggage to the hotel and went up.

(嶰妏帥)Slope of Sankakuji乧乧乧乧The steep slope is until you pass through the village,Once you enter the forest road, it is almost flatland.

(塤曈帥)Slope of Unpenji乧乧乧乧The distance is long, but the gradient is not steep.

(壆搰帥)Slope of Yashimaji乧乧乧乧Motorcycles under 125 cc can not pass through a car exclusive road. Of course bicycles are also not permitted. I will walk.

(敧孖帥)Slope of Yaguriji乧乧乧乧As a result of choosing between using a cable car or using an ordinary road, of course, I bicycled the general road.
I almost pushed it up.

(弌庍夀帥)Inner sanctury of Shusshakaji乧乧乧乧I pressed almost all of them. I pressed it up and pushed it down.

That is the report of the slope. Then please have a look from the first day.丒丒丒丒丒 1st Day Henro

Cycling Toppage