Glimpse the 88 Temples on Shikoku Island in Japan

Far from the glitz and neon splashed glamor of Japan’s bigger cities you can cross the waters and find the dreamy blossoming landscape of Shikoku Island. This is a place where fishermen cast their nets, where silence sparkles and where no less than 88 temples stand strewn along the pilgrims’ route.

Shikoku Island in Japan 1

Image Courtesy: commons.wikimedia.org/Uranborugu

Following in the footsteps of the Buddhist Kobo Daishi, you can take a step back in time wandering past temples that have stood firm since the 16th century or take the ten day loop that will lead you past the door of all of them.

Shikoku Island in Japan 2

Image Courtesy: commons.wikimedia.org/Reggaeman

Every temple is ornate and rich in its own unique splendor, Ryozenji glitters beneath its lanterns, Iwamotoji dazzles with its adorned art work and each and every temple offers something that will resonate in your memory.

Shikoku Island in Japan 3

Image Courtesy: flickr.com/JeremyHall

Driving through the pint sized island you can see mountain peaks, deep cut ravines, jade green rivers meandering through the valleys and golden coastlines scattered with wooden boats. Every sight you see is its own quiet haiku, its own delicate watercolor and its own gentle breeze cooling down a deep summer’s day.

Dining on the island introduces you to a world of fresh flavors straight from the sea and the land. Sweet shrimp, beautiful pale broths and vibrant mandarin oranges that hang heavy from the bough in the fall are all perfect for satiating your appetite with vibrant soul food.

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Image Courtesy: flickr.com/yuki5287

The temples may be the main draw of the gentle shores of Shikoku but there is more to the isle than bricks and mortar. The coast is as playful as can be with glass bottomed kayaks and surfboards waiting to conquer the salty soft waters that run and laugh away from the sands.

Deep in the mountains you can find vine bridges swinging across the Iya Valley. Back in the quaint charm of the warm villages you can also watch the locals craft pottery, make paper and sip sake beneath the bough of the cherry blossom.

Top Image Courtesy: flickr.com/KonstantinLeonov

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes is a seasoned writer and an avid surfer with continuously itchy feet and a love of the finer things in life. After traveling through the continent with a touring band, living in Paris, Amsterdam and under the Auroras Borealis, she is now in Bulgaria where she attempts to piece together her first poetry collection.
Jodie Oakes