Here are 10 routes in total. Each route is designed to walk in two to three days.
Depending on your schedule and stamina, you can combine several routes and enjoy Shikoku!
1. Introduction to the Shikoku Pilgrimage
Total distance: 60.6km（37.7mi） Level: Beginner to Intermediate
This is the first section of the 88 pilgrimage route that circles Shikoku, starting from the T1, Ryozen-ji temple, and going through the countryside to the T10, Kirihata-ji temple, as you walk through Mt. Sanuki on the right and Tokushima Plain on the left. From T11, Fujii-dera temple, from there, the road goes a mountainous section famous for its ups and downs “Henro Korogashi”, but with the help of Jizo statues and some rest stops, you will find great views. After T12, Shosan-ji temple, the trail descends to Kamiyama Onsen, where you can take a hot bath after your long trail.
2. Experience Tokushima’s Attraction
Total distance: 50.5km（31.4mi） Level: Intermediate
From the deep mountains to the seaside, this route will give you a taste of the varied nature of Tokushima. We start from town of Katsuura, then you climb up the stone-paved road to T20 Kakurin-ji Temple. You will go down the mountain and climb up again to the T21, Tairyu-ji temple. On the second day, the scenery is thick with greenery, but after crossing the Kaitani Pass, the scenery turns around to one overlooking the sea. The highlight is the path along the ridge of the cliff along the sea. The Pacific Ocean spreads out before your eyes.
3. Sea, Mountain, and Village in Kochi
Total distance: 62.0km（38.5mi） Level: Beginner
Starting from Aki, the center of eastern Kochi, you walk along a cycling path built on the ruins of an abandoned JR line, with the magnificent Pacific Ocean on your left. From the middle of the route, you leave the seaside and go inland, and the area around the 28th and 30th temples, Dainichi-ji temple and Zenraku-ji temple, will be filled with rural scenery. The last part of the tour takes you to the outskirts of Kochi City, from the 31st temple, Chikurin-ji temple, at the foot of Mount Godaisan, to the 33rd temple, Sekkei-ji temple. There are many sights to see, and it is a fun route with many side trips.
4. Fully enjoy the Pacific Ocean
Total distance: 63.0km（39.1mi） Level: Beginner
Staring from Saga, a fishing village famous for its bonito, you head south along the coastal road. From Irino Beach to Oki Beach, you will find beautiful beaches with smooth and dry sand. Recommends you to go down to the beach and walk barefoot. The coast and mountain roads leading to the 38th temple, Kongofuku-ji temple, are ancient paths that have been carefully preserved by the locals for many years. The goal is Cape Ashizuri, the southernmost point of Shikoku. This is a route where you can experience the Kuroshio Current, the rough waves of the Pacific Ocean lapping dynamically.
5. Walk in the opposite direction on ancient paths of the Shikoku Pilgrimage
Total distance: 69.5km（43.2mi） Level: Advanced
Most pilgrims walk around Shikoku in a clockwise direction, but it is said that walking in the opposite direction will give you three times the reward for virtue. The reason for this is that there are fewer signposts and it is more difficult to walk. There are three traditional pilgrimage routes from Uwajima southward to Kanjizai-ji temple, the 40th temple in Ainan-cho, and Nakamichi route is one of the best with ancient atmosphere. The path is deep in mountain and steep, but it is worth the challenge for those who are good pedestrian.
6. Golden route in Ehime
Total distance: 64.0km（39.8mi） Level: Intermediate
You start the walk from Kuma Kogen, which is cool even in summer. Iwaya-ji temple, the 45th sacred mountain temple surrounded by virgin forest and huge rocks, is a must-see. On the second day, we headed north to cross the Misaka Pass, the dividing line between the Pacific Ocean and the Seto Inland Sea. The area is filled with wildflowers and a restful rural landscape. After visiting the 46th temple, Joruri-ji temple, and the 51st temple, Ishite-ji temple, you can take a bath in the famous Dogo Hot Spring. This is a recommended route full of the charms of Iyo.
7. The area associated with Kobo-Daishi
Total distance: 70.5km（43.8mi） Level: Intermediate
This route starts from Iyomishima, facing the Seto Inland Sea. After passing through the 65th temple, Sankaku-ji temple, you walk along a mountain road overgrown with trees to the highest point of the Shikoku pilgrimage, 927meter Unpen-ji Mountain. After descending the mountain from the 66th temple, Unbe-ji, to the 67th temple, Daiko-ji, you continued through the rural landscape to the city of Kannonji.The last stop is Zentsu-ji temple, the 75th temple where Kobo-Daishi, Kukai spent his childhood. The triangular mountains that look like rice balls against the calm Sanuki Plain catches the eyes of you.
8. Kagawa Last Eight Temples
Total distance: 65.0km（40.4mi） Level: Intermediate
You will visit the last eight temples of the 88 sacred sites in Shikoku. Starts from Kokubun-ji temple, the 80th temple, and climb up the steep Goshikidai to the 82nd temple, Negoro -ji temple. As you descend to the foot of the mountain, you will find a peaceful village with fields of bonsai trees and fruit trees here and there. The route from 84th Yashima-ji temple to 85th Yakuri-ji temple takes you up and down of two peaks. The highlight is the crossing of the difficult Mt. Nyotai-san. It is a steep mountain path, but the spectacular view from the top will heal your fatigue.
9. Cape Muroto Cycling Route
Total distance: 215.0km（133.6mi） Level: Intermediate
Cycling from Hiwasa in Tokushima Prefecture to Kochi City via Cape Muroto, nearly a quarter of the southeastern part of Shikoku. It’s a pleasant ride along the coastal road with the Pacific Ocean on the left. There are 11 temples on the route, from No. 23 Yakuo-ji temple to No. 33 Sekkei-ji temple, but some of them are on the mountain, so you may want to leave your bike at a store at the foot of the mountain and walk there. There are many sightseeing spots along the way, and the side trips are a part of the fun.
10. Cape Ashizuri Cycling Route
Total distance: 217.0km（134.8mi） Level: Intermediate
The route starts from Shimanto City in Kochi Prefecture and goes around Ashizuri Peninsula to Uwajima in Ehime Prefecture. This is a cycling route covering about a quarter of the southwestern part of Shikoku, with the magnificent Pacific Ocean and the tranquil Uwakai Sea on the left. On the route, you will find No. 38 Kongofuku-ji temple to No. 43 Meiseki-ji temple and many other sightseeing spots.