Sunday, June 09, 2013

Shiraishi Island Pilgrimage, No.s 80-83

These blog posts will introduce you to several short sections of the Shiraishi Island Pilgrimage (Kasaoka-shi, Okayama, Japan). These sections will take you anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour to complete walking.

This blog post covers No. 80 to 83. Future blog posts will cover other sections.

I have given numbers and estimated walking and running times for each section. Each shrine has a number and name that coincides with the temple number and name on the Shikoku Pilgrimage route. If you'd like to know more about the temples and deities, see my book, Running the Shikoku Pilgrimage: 900 Miles to Enlightenment.

No. 80 to 83
Distance: .03 km
Time: 5-10 mins hiking, 3 mins trail running
Trail condition: Cleared, easy to navigate, shady, some stairs
Trail features: Views of the port and Inland Sea, wildflowers: Enishida
Other sites along the way: Moyoken Shinto Shrine

Shrines 80 to 83 are the easiest ones to walk to. The hike is fairly flat, has beautiful scenery, and will only take you 5 to 10 minutes. It's cool and shady, so a good section to do in the dead of summer when it's too hot to exert much effort.

Directions: Start from the front of the ferry terminal, which is where you got off the boat when you came to the island from Kasaoka city. Look directly opposite the ferry terminal, over to the other side of the port and you’ll see two houses standing next to each other. Shrine 80 is behind those houses. Follow the road around to the other side of the port. When you see the big stone stairway, go to the bottom of it. 

Shrine No. 80, Kokubunji is to the right at the bottom of the stairs.

No. 80 Kokubunji

To get to the next shrine along the pilgrimage, No. 81, Shiromineji, keep the stone staircase on your right and walk behind the second house until you see another stone stairway that looks like this.


Take this one and keep following it straight. (Another stairway branches off to the right, but it goes to Myoken, a Shinto shrine separate from the pilgrimage, so don’t take it unless you want to do it as a side trip).

Once the trail flattens out, keep an eye out for No. 81 Shiromine-ji (白峯寺) on your right.

 Shiraishi Pilgrimage Shrine No. 81, Shiromineji

Continue and you will find shrine No. 82 Negoro-ji further up on the right. Don’t miss the great views of the port on which these deities look out upon.

No. 82 Negoro-ji (根香寺)

No. 83 Ichinomiya-ji is the next on the path. Look for two deities underneath a huge boulder.

Keep walking until you get to a skinny paved road. This is the end of this small pilgrimage section. Now you have to make a decision. Do you want to end your pilgrimage here or continue on to the next section? 

If you want to stop here, you can either take this skinny paved road back down to the port, or go back the same way you came on the pilgrimage route. You could even catch Myoken Shrine this time on your way back.

If you do this section in the springtime, you'll see this beautiful Enishida blooming between the stone staircase and shrine No. 80.

Shrines on this section of the pilgrimage:

80 Sanuki Kokubun-ji (讃岐国分寺)
81 Shiromine-ji (白峯寺)
82 Negoro-ji (根香寺)
83 Ichinomiya-ji (一宮寺)

Next blog post: Myoken Shrine

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