Grow Spiritually in the Temple Circuit
The 88 Temple Pilgrimage, also known as the Temple Circuit, is a 1,200-kilometer route around Shikoku island. It’s believed that visiting the island’s four provinces, and all 88 official temples en route, is the path to enlightenment.
The circuit’s four stages also have special meanings: temples one to 23 represent awakening, then 24 to 39 is discipline and austerity, 40 to 65 are attaining enlightenment, and finally, 66 to 88 are an entry to heaven. Many of the temples were founded by Kukai, a revered scholar and monk.
100,000 people visit the circuit and the temples each year, although some take the bus rather than walk. If you plan to walk the route, it takes an average of six weeks to complete.