TOKYO, JAPAN –
Media OutReach – 17 March 2022 – Lonely Planet, the world’s most popular travel guidebook, has ranked Japan’s Shikoku sixth in the regional category of its “Best in Travel 2022” list of recommended travel destinations for 2022.
Shikoku is home to many tourist attractions such as hot springs and natural scenery, but the Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage has been rapidly gaining popularity in recent years. The pilgrimage is approximately 1,200 km long and is one of the few looped pilgrimage routes (not trails) in the world.
This is the first stop on the “Shikoku Pilgrimage,” a tour of 88 temples on Shikoku in connection with Kobo Daishi, the founder of the Shingon Buddhism. It takes about two months to make a complete circuit of the four prefectures of Shikoku on foot.
This is the 78th sacred site on the Shikoku pilgrimage route. The temple was once located below the port of Utazu, which prospered as a port town.
Kaiganzan Iwayaji Temple
As the 45th of 88 sacred places in Shikoku, it is located on the historic sacred mountain. Surrounded by towering rock walls and a primeval sawtooth oak forest, the temple grounds have been designated a national scenic beauty spot. In addition, Kobo Daishi-do Hall was designated as a national important cultural property in 2007.
Tosa Kokubunji Temple
For over 1,200 years, this temple has been surrounded by rich and quiet forests and has carved out a long and storied history.
It was first built in 741 by Gyoki (668-748) at the request of the 45th Emperor of Japan, in the best location in Shikoku.