Oku Japan Insights

Welcome to the Oku Japan blog, full of our latest news and interesting information on Japan.
The white-clad figures that pop up frequently during a search about the famous Shikoku 88 pilgrimage have an official name. They are called Ohenro. It is not an exclusive term - anyone can become one when walking the trail.

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In March and April, cherry blossom mania begins - forecasts as to when and where the blooms will appear first and when they will peak make the morning weather reports. Sakura -flavored items make their way into restaurant menus, coffee shops, and supermarkets.

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The bridge to Okunoin serves as a boundary between worlds, and the cedar trees lining the path seem to open a barrier that welcomes you into the spirit world.

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I don’t consider myself a particularly religious person following any specific devout path and surprisingly, such feelings are shared with a lot of Japanese people as well.

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While there are other notable towns along this legendary route, one of the most memorable aspects of a visit to this area is the human connection made with the local residents.

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As someone interested in looking beyond what was found in most guidebooks, I was particularly drawn to Shikoku.

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While walking in Japan, you’ll likely spot small stone statues shaped like children or depictions of Buddha. These may seem like mischievous forest sprites, but their real identity tells a different story.

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