06 April 2008

First steps

Welcome to my Henro blog.

What's a Henro, you ask? I've found even a few Japanese who don't know. The kanji are these:

The character on the left means "all over, in many directions," and on the right, "road." From this perhaps we could derive the word highway, but instead we get the word for pilgrim, or pilgrimage.

From tomorrow I'm going to be a pilgrim, walking the 1200km pilgrimage road around the island of Shikoku. Typically, it takes six to eight weeks to complete the journey on foot. I will from time to time when passing through a sufficiently urbanized part of the island be checking in here to update my progress and post a few photos.

In the meantime, if you'd like to know more about the pilgrimage, check out some of the links I've posted in the sidebar to the right.

First stop tomorrow will be Koya-san, where I will attend a ceremony Tuesday morning marking the birthday of the Buddha and pay my respects to Kobo Daishi, the saint who walks with Shikoku pilgrims.


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