The Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage Experience, #84 Yashima and #85 Yakuri by Jeremy Lanig
In the early morning of Nov. 28, the third secretary from the Kenya embassy, Ms. Dorothy Nthiwa and 16 foreign residents of Kagawa journeyed to two temples on the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage. We went to Yashima Temple and Yakuri Temple. The weather was perfect for the 14 km hike up Yashima plateau and the Gokenzan Mountain. We were in nature surrounded by beautiful fall colors of red, orange, and yellow as the leaves were changing.
At Yashima Temple, we learned about the history of the temple and the Genpei battle that occurred on Yashima. After that, we took a break to write poetry and enjoy the view of Takamatsu and the Seto inland sea. After enjoying a delicious lunch at Yamadaya Udon restaurant, we went to Yakuri Temple. There we learned about the history of the famous monk, Kukai, his adventures to China, and the creation of the pilgrimage.
Everyone was tired after a full day of hiking and learning about the 88 temple pilgrimage and history of the area. We also learned that the pilgrimage could become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I hope that it does become a World Heritage Site so that people from all around the world can know about Shikoku's old and rich history and culture.
This location at Yakuri has soil from all 88 temples for people that cannot make the pilgrimage.
The fall colors were stunning.
The participants had many great experiences throughout the day.
Here we are taking a break to enjoy amazake (sweet rice drink).