Abundant nature, and varied temples with walks on sections of the ancient 88 Temple Pilgrimage in Ehime Prefecture in Shikoku

Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage self-guided 4 days

Starting from USD1325 / 4 days

Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage self-guided 4 days

Mixed town roads (paved) and forest trails (unpaved) - a moderate walk, with days of up to 5 hours of hiking



  • Walk on lovely parts of the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage trail in Ehime
  • Stay at an authentic hilltop Shukubo pilgrims lodging on the trail
  • Climb the iconic ladder to the meditation spot used by Kobo Daishi, founder of Shingon Buddhism
  • Bathe in natural thermal waters at historic Dogo Onsen
  • Sleep on Futons laid out on Tatami-mat flooring in traditional Japanese inns
  • Visit the beautiful and historic castle in Matsuyama

Shikoku is Japan's fourth-largest island, home to some of the country's most spectacular and undeveloped scenery. The island is also the setting for an ancient walking trail, the challenging Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage. The trail connects 88 Buddhist temples and the full walk covers more than a thousand kilometres. Pilgrims, known as O-henro, traditionally covered the journey on foot over many weeks, staying overnight at Shukubo temple lodgings. Most modern travellers now travel from temple to temple by tour bus, but we have found sections of the original route which can still be enjoyed on foot.

Please ask for information about tour extensions to the mountain-top temple town of Mount Koya with its monastery lodgings, the art island of Naoshima or the UNESCO World Heritage of Miyajima Island, and Tomonoura Bay on the Setouchi inland sea.


We happily welcome younger walkers on to our trips with an accompanying adult. We offer a 10% price reduction for children (6-11) and an 80% price reduction for infants (0-5). Please contact us for specific hiking, meal or bedding enquiries. Please see here for other trips best suited to families.


Read about luggage options here.

What's Included

  • 3 nights at Japanese inns on Shikoku Island
  • 3 breakfasts and 3 dinners
  • Round-trip transportation from Kyoto or Osaka & 2 pre-paid taxis
  • Detailed day-by-day itinerary, walking directions and Shikoku Island guidebook
  • Topographical maps
  • Local support by telephone
  • Our Preparing for your trip and Travelling in Japan Guidebooks
  • Optional orientation at our Kyoto office

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Pay locally for drinks with meals and for lunches
  • Pay locally for bus journeys on each day
  • Single room supplement(s) if required


Itinerary Map
Day 1 - Ehime (Temples 57 to 58)

Start from Kyoto or Osaka and travel by train to Imabari in northern Ehime to begin your hike to Temple 57 Eifuku-ji. The walk gradually passes from urban townscape to rural farming communities before entering a forest with a steady climb to Temple 58 Senyū-ji. Visit Eifuku-ji and Senyū-ji and there is also an optional detour to Temple 56 Taisan-ji. Overnight at Senyū-ji, which offers pilgrim lodgings, or alternatively stay in a western-style hotel in Imabari City.


Walking distance: 4.4km / 2.7 miles
Elevation gain: 250m / 820 feet ascent and negligible descent
Time required: About 1.5 hours


Accommodation: Shukubo (Pilgrims Lodging) or Hotel
Meals: Dinner

Day 2 - Ehime (Temple 58 onwards)

The hike continues with a gentle walk down the mountain from Senyū-ji, with the opportunity to explore small village settlements on the way. Return to the town of Imabari, with an optional paved hike on to Temple 59 Iyo Kokubun-ji and continue onwards to Matsuyama by train and overnight in Dogo Onsen.


Walking distance: 4.4km / 2.7 miles
Elevation gain: Negligible ascent and 250m / 820 feet descent
Time required: About 1 hour

An optional paved walk of 4.1km (2.5 miles) can extend the hike by a further 1.5 hours.


Accommodation: Hot-spring Ryokan (Travellers Inn)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3 - Ehime (Temples 45 to 44)

Head south by bus and pre-paid taxi from Matsuyama to Temple 45 Iwaya-ji, a temple closely linked to Kōbō Daishi - the priest who founded Shingon Buddhism and Mount Koya. Climb the iconic ladder to his meditation spot, with its spectacular views over the surrounding region. From Iwaya-ji, enjoy a lovely forest hike to Temple 44 Daiho-ji before returning by bus to Matsuyama in the evening. Overnight in Dogo Onsen.


Walking distance: 11.7km / 7.3 miles
Elevation gain: 650m / 2,130 feet ascent and 580m / 1,900 feet descent
Time required: About 4 hours


Accommodation: Hot-spring Ryokan (Travellers Inn)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4 - Ehime (Temples 60 to 62)

The tour ends with a rewarding hike in the east of Ehime Prefecture.  Travel by bus and pre-paid taxi from Matsuyama to reach the trail and walk to Temple 60 Yokomine-ji, Temple 61 Kōon-ji and onwards to Temple 62 Hoju-ji. The walk passes through a rural area of Shikoku and the temples are in lovely natural settings. After the hike, travel onwards by train to the Kansai area, arriving mid-evening.

Walking distance: 13.7km / 8.5 miles
Elevation gain: 620m / 2,050 feet ascent and 870m / 3,850 feet descent
Time required: About 4-5 hours
You can reduce the hike by about one hour to 11.3km / 7 miles, avoiding the first uphill section. Simply pay locally to extend the taxi ride to Temple 60 Yokomine-ji. Choose on the day - no need to decide in advance.

Meals: Breakfast



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