• Aizendō [ temples ]

    Aizendō (愛 染 堂) is a temple inside which is carved a statue of the deity Aizen Myōō (or Rāgarāja), king of the passions.
  • Aruki Henro [ pilgrimage ]

    Aruki henro 歩き遍路 : The pilgrim who walks. This is the most traditional form to perform the pilgrimage of 88 temples on Shikoku. But there is also other way to perform the pilgrimage: by bus, car or bicycle.
  • Bangai [ pilgrimage, temples ]

    Bangai (番外) temples are sacred places but not among the 88 temples of the Shikoku pilgrimage. In Japanese, Bangai literally means "out of numbering" . (more…)
  • Bekkaku [ buddhism, pilgrimage, temples ]

    A Bekkaku (別格) temple is a temple that is not part of the principal road of the 88 shikoku pilgrimage temples but has a relative importance with the monk Kukai, the founder of the pilgrimage. (more…)
  • Bentō [ cooking ]

    Bentō (弁 当) means box meal. This is the snack forJapanese people when theye eat outside. It can be prepared at home or buy in specialty shops: the Bentō-ya (弁 当 屋). (more…)
  • Benzaiten [ buddhism ]

    Benzaiten or Benten (弁 財 天) is a Japanese Buddhist deity who originated from the Hindu deity Sarasvati (サ ラ ス ヴ ァ テ ィ ー). (more…)
  • Bonnō [ buddhism ]

    Bonnō (煩悩) the 108 bonnō are the 108 desires that bind man to this world and prevent him from being happy. The misfortune comes from the attachment to the material things of this world as well as our bad thoughts. Whoever manages to free himself from these 108 bonnō will become free and enlightened
  • Bosatsu [ buddhism ]

    Bosatsu (菩薩) or bodhisattva in Sanskrit is one who is close to the awakening, the state of Buddha. The bosatsu instead of becoming Buddha helps those who suffer in this world. (more…)
  • budō [ martial-art ]

    Budo (道) means The Warrior's Way (Bu) implicitly in peacetime.
  • Bussokuseki [ buddhism ]

    Bussokuseki (仏 足 石) are Footprints of Buddhas carved in stone. They are used during rituals. (more…)
  • Chōzuya [ temples ]

    Chōzuya (手 水 舎) or Temizuya is a basin located at the entrance of Buddhist or Shinto temples, used for purification. (more…)
  • Daishi [ buddhism ]

    Daishi (大師) was originally a term for Buddha only. In China, it became an honorary title, awarded by the emperor. In Japan, this title is given posthumously only, as for Kūkai who became Kōbō-Daishi after his death.
  • Daishidō [ pilgrimage, temples ]

    Daishido (大師堂) is small building reserved for Kobo Daishi. There is Daishido in all 88 temples of Shikoku pilgrimage but on the trail there is Daishido appart of a temple.  Sometimes, the pilgrim can use it to sleep.
  • Dōgyō Ninin [ pilgrimage ]

    Dōgyō Ninin (同行 二人) literally means Traveling (in the sense of pilgrimage) together. The spiritual significance in the context of the pilgrimage of the 88 temples to Shikoku is that Kōbō Daishi always travels with the pilgrim and accompanies him in difficulties.  (more…)
  • Dōjō [ buddhism, martial-art ]

    In Buddhism, the dojo is a place of spiritual and physical asceticism. In Budo,it’s the place where you practice your discipline.  The pilgrimage of Shikoku is divided into 4 virtual dojo, corresponding to the 4 prefectures crossed.
  • Emon Saburō [ characters ]

    Emon Saburō (衛 門 三郎) is considered by the legend to be the first pilgrim when he went in search of the monk Kukai (Kōbō Daishi) to beg for forgiveness. (more…)
  • Furo [ japanese ]

    The furo (風呂) or exactly O-furo is the bathtub and by extension the Japanese bath. There is a strict ritual to wash himself in Japan.  (more…)
  • Goeika [ buddhism ]

    Goeika (御 詠 歌) is a poem or song recited at the end of Buddhist ceremony. The Goeika were written by Emperor Kazan after he abdicated and became a Buddhist monk a little over a thousand years ago (reign 984-986).
  • Gohōgō [ buddhism, pilgrimage ]

    Gohōgō (御宝号) is a mantra in tribute to Kobo-Daishi. This is the Mantra that you repeat three times in front of the Daishi Hall at every temple. (more…)
  • Gyaku uchi [ pilgrimage ]

    Gyaku-uchi (逆打ち) means doing the pilgrimage in the opposite direction ( counter-clockwise). Doing the pilgrimage of Shikoku entirely in Gyaku-uchi is quite rare. This way of doing pilgrimages is mostly used for only some temples.
  • Hakui [ necessities ]

    Hakue or byakue (白衣), literally white gear. It is the white jacket of Shikoku pilgrim (Henro). There is some with short sleeved or even sleeveless. (more…)
  • Henro [ pilgrimage ]

    Henro (遍 路) refers to the pilgrim who travels along the path of the 88 temples in Shikoku but the term henro is also used to designate the Shikoku pilgrimage in abbreviation of Henro michi.
  • Henro Goya [ accomodation, pilgrimage ]

    Henro Goya 遍路小屋
    Huts built by local authorities to allow shikoku pilgrims to rest. Some aruki henro spend the night in a very basic comfort. These are often shelters composed simply of a roof and a bench.
  • Henro korogashi [ pilgrimage ]

    Henro*korogashi (遍路ころがし) are very difficult passages encountered during the Shikoku pilgrimage. henro korogashi means “Place where pilgrims fall over”. You can find Henro-korogashi on the path to the temples : 12, 20, 21, 27, 60, 66, 81 et 82.
  • Henro michi [ pilgrimage ]

    Henro michi (遍 路 道) is the pilgrim’s trail in Shikoku. Often the pilgrimage of Shikou is simply referred to by this term. But it is also the “way” of the pilgrim, in a sense a little more spiritual.
  • Honbō [ temples ]

    Honbō (本坊) is the main building where the monks sleep in a Buddhist temple. On the henro trail, this term also describes the building which is used as hotel( shukubō )
  • Hondō [ temples ]

    The term hondō (本堂), literally means “main hall”. It enshrines the most important objects of veneration. This word became commun durind the Heian period and the developpement of Bhuddhism Shingon and Tendai.
  • honzon [ buddhism, temples ]

    Honzon (本尊) is the image of the revered Buddha or Bodhisattva (bosatsu) in the main temple (Hondō) .This image takes the form of a sculpture. There is usually only one honzon per temple except at Temple 37, Iwamoto-ji.
  • Ikkoku Mairi [ pilgrimage ]

    Ikkoku-mairi (一国参り) is to visit the temple of a single prefecture. To make the whole pilgrimage is Tōshi-uchi (通 し 打 ち).
  • Jun-uchi [ pilgrimage ]

    Jun-uchi ((順 打 ち) is the standard way to make the pilgrimage in a clockwise direction, in the opposite direction it is gyaku uchi. Jun-uchi means doing the shikoku pilgrimage from temple 1 to temple 88.
  • Junrei [ buddhism, pilgrimage ]

    Junrei (巡礼) is a Japanese word for a Buddhist or Shinto pilgrimage. The pilgrimage of Shikoku (Shikoku junrei) is commonly called Shikoku Henro.
  • Kamakura period [ history ]

    The Kamakura (Kamakura Jidai) period begin in 1185 and ended in 1333. The Name comes from the city of Kamakura (more…)
  • Miroku Bosatsu [ buddhism ]

    Miroku Bosatsu (弥勒 仏) or Shōraibutsu 将来仏 (lit. Future Buddha), Maitreya in Sanskrit is a Buddha who would appear in the future, when the teaching of the former Buddha would be lost. (more…)
  • Naiten [ buddhism ]

    Raiten (内 典) is the Japanese word for sutra. See also sutra
  • Namu Daishi Henjo Kongo [ pilgrimage ]

    Namu Daishi Henjo Kongo ( 南 無 大師 遍照 金剛) is an inscription found on many of the equipment of the Shikoku Pilgrim. It is a Shingon Buddhist sutra in honor of its founder Kukai (or Kobo Daishi). (more…)
  • Niōmon [ buddhism, temples ]

    Niōmon (仁王 門) literally the door (門) of Niō warriors (仁王) is the gateway to the temple guarded by 2 wooden statues depicting fierce warriors.
  • Nojuku [ accomodation, pilgrimage ]

    Nojuku (野 宿) means wild camping. During the shikoku pilgrimage, this term refers to either sleeping outside or in basic shelters made available to pilgrims.
  • Nōkyō-chō [ necessities, pilgrimage ]

    The nōkyōchō ((納 経 帳)) is a notebook that is presented to each of the 88 Shikoku pilgrimage temples to collect stamps and calligraphy at the Nōkyō-shō. It is usually bought at the first temple, there are different sizes and shapes.
  • Nyorai [ buddhism ]

    Nyorai (如 来) refers to the Buddhas, ie those who have attained enlightenment. The word Nyorai comes from the Sanskrit Tathagata, which Buddha used to designate himself. (more…)
  • O-setai [ pilgrimage ]

    O-settai (お接待) is a gift to Shikoku pilgrim's.  See Settai
  • obon [ buddhism ]

    O-Bon (お 盆) is a Buddhist (Matsuri) festival dedicated to the dead (ancestors) that usually runs from August 13th to 15th. This is an opportunity for the Japanese who live far from their family to return to their hometown.
  • Orei-Mairi [ pilgrimage ]

    Orei-Mairi (お 礼 参 り) A custom that means finishing the Shikoku pilgrimage by returning to the first temple visited. For others, it is the end of the pilgrimage to Mount Koya. (more…)
  • Rinzai [ buddhism ]

    The Rinzai Buddhist School ( 臨済宗, Rinzai-shū) is one of the major currents with the Soto School of Zen Buddhism in Japan. She is a branch of Linji Chinese School (more…)
  • Rōsoku [ necessities ]
  • Ryokan [ accomodation ]

    Ryokan (旅館) is the traditional Japanese inn, usually more luxurious and more expensive than the Minshuku. There are very small ryokan, family or huge with a very large staff
    The rooms are Japanese style (washitsu), the price (per person) usually includes the evening meal and b

  • Saiin [ temples ]
  • Settai [ pilgrimage ]

    Settai (接待) or more exactly O-settai  means "reception, welcome". During Shikoku pilgrimage, O-settaie are the gifts, or sometimes money, that pilgrims receive on their way to 88 temples. (more…)
  • Shikoku [ japanese ]

    Shikoku (四 国) is the smallest of the 4 main islands of Japan. Located west of the main island, it is a place that has remained very rural. With an area of 19000 km² for a population of approximately 4 million. To know more : Shikoku introduction
  • Shingon [ buddhism, pilgrimage ]

    The Shingon Buddhist School (真言 宗, Shingon-shū) is one of the major currents of Buddhism in Japan. Shingon is the Japanese reading of the Chinese word 真言, translation of the Sanskrit word mantra (incantations). 真 means truth and 言 word. (more…)
  • Shishido garan [ temples ]

    shishidō garan ( 七堂伽藍) is a Japanese Buddhist term that designates the ideal structure of a temple with seven buildings (sichidō). Garan is a Sanskrit term that originally meant a park where Buddhist monks gathered.
  • Shōrō-dō [ temples ]

    Shōrōdō (鐘楼堂) Belfry of the temple or often only the small wooden building which contains the bell of the temple. dō (堂) means building, but the Shorodo in general consists only of a simple roof supported by 4 wooden pillar with the bell in the middle. (more…)
  • Shukubō [ accomodation, pilgrimage, temples ]

    Shukubō (宿坊) are ryokan-style pay rooms made available by a temple. This style of accommodation is developed under the Heian era. It is the ancestor of the ryokan. (more…)
  • Sutra [ buddhism ]

    A sutra, raiten (内 典) in Japanese is the transcript of the words of the original Buddha. By extension, great masters of Buddhism have also created their own sutra. One of the best-known sutras, also on the Shikoku pilgrimage, is the sutra of the heart: Hannya Shingyo
  • Tahōtō [ temples ]
  • Taiko [ japanese ]

    The taiko (太 鼓) is a big drum on which someone strikes with sticks. Inseparable from "matsuri", festivals in Japan, Taiko is played on a very dynamic rhythm. Taiko is a very ancient art from China and Korea. Historically Taiko was played to mark the end of a war or to implore the deities for the harvest (rice) is good.
  • Tōin [ temples ]

    Tō-in (東 院) means the party east (precint) is (東) of a Buddhist temple. Tō  is one possible readings of the kanji east, as in Tokyo. In (院) is a set of well-organized building.
  • Tsūyadō [ accomodation, pilgrimage, temples ]

    Tsūyadō (通夜 堂);, it is a free shelter offered by a temple for aruki henro (walkiing pilgrims) during Shikoku pilgrimage. as for henro goya, the comfort is  very basic . Some are tiny (2 or 3 beds), others huge as in the temple 51 ishite-ji.
  • Udon [ cooking ]

    Udon is a Japanese noodle made from wheat flour. Very famous in Shikoku (especially the Sanuki Udon). The Udon was introduced in Japan by Kūkai (空 海), in the 9th century, from China. Very popular dish, the Udon can be enjoyed hot or cold (especially in summer). However, for a long time the consumption of Udon was mainly reserved for Buddhist monks (until the 17-18th century).
  • Yakushi Nyorai [ 13-buddhas ]

    Yakushi Nyorai (薬 師 如 来) is one of 13 Buddhas of the Shingon sect (Jūsan butsu). He is considered as the Buddha of medicine. His name is Bhaisajyaguru (more…)
  • Yūben Shinnen [ characters, history ]

    Yūben Shinnen (宥 辡 真 念) is a historical figure who played a very important role in the development of the pilgrimage of the 88 temples to Shikoku in the 17th century. He wrote the first pilgrimage guide: the Shikoku henro michi shirube. (more…)
  • Zenkonyadō [ accomodation ]

    Zenkonyado (善根 宿) , free or almost free accommodation (300 yen) offered to Shikoku pilgrims by local people (more…)
  • Zudabukuro [ necessities ]

    Zuda-bukuro (頭陀 袋) is a small white bag that is used to store all the small items needed for pilgrimage such as: incense, candles, samefuda, Nōkyō-chō (stamps book) (more…)