How much does it cost to walk the Shikoku Pilgrimage?

The cost of your Shikoku pilgrimage depends, of course, largely on the duration of your pilgrimage. And on your requirements in terms of accommodation and food.

In this article, you will find out what costs you should expect for a pilgrimage on Shikoku.
(As of November 2022: 1,000 yen equals approx. 6.80 USD or 6.80 EUR).

Accommodation costs

For most pilgrims, lodging expenses are the largest cost factor during the pilgrimage. These expenses can vary greatly from individual to individual. An overnight stay in a hotel/ryokan can cost 7,000 yen/night, but can also cost 10,000 yen/night and well above.

The typical costs given here serve as an orientation for your planning.

AccommodationTypical costsMeals incl.
Minshuku6,500 YENDinner + Breakfast
Ryokan7,500 YENDinner + Breakfast
Shukubō7,500 YENDinner + Breakfast
Business-Hotel7,000 YENnone
Hotel9,000 YENnone
Guest House3,500 YENnone
Henro House3,500 YENnone

More about free overnight stays.

Cost of food and drinks

Breakfast costs from 400 yen.
Many cafés and coffee shops offer an inexpensive breakfast in the morning (morning set).
Includes mostly a hot drink (coffee or tea), bread and butter, egg and salad.

Lunch costs from 500 yen.
During the week, many restaurants offer inexpensive lunches.

Drinks: With lunch and dinner, tea or water is served free of charge in the restaurants. On the road, soft drinks from vending machines common on Shikoku cost between 100 yen and 300 yen.

Cost at the temple

Stamp in the pilgrimage book: 300 yen per temple.
Offerings in the Main Hall and Daishi Hall: about 100 yen per temple (voluntary).
For 88 temples: 88 × 400 yen= 35,200 yen; calculated over 42 days = 840 yen/day.

Cost of pilgrimage equipment

  • hakui 白衣 or oizuru 笈摺 (2,000 yen to 3,500 yen): White shirt worn by pilgrims on their journey. With long sleeves (hakui) or as a sleeveless shirt (oizuru).
  • nōkyōchō 納経帳 (2,000 yen to 3,500 yen): Pilgrimage book, in hardback. One page is provided in the pilgrimage book for each of the 88 temples. As proof of the temple visit, the page is stamped with three red stamps at the pilgrimage office and calligraphed with the name of the main deity of each temple in kanji. For further pilgrimages, the respective page in the pilgrimage book is stamped again, but not calligraphed.
  • osamefuda 納め札 (200 pieces 100 yen): Votive note from a pilgrim. Visiting card left by a pilgrim at the temple. Also given to locals or fellow pilgrims to thank them for a support (settai).
  • kongōzue 金剛杖 (1,500 yen bis 2,500 yen): Pilgrim’s staff.

Cost of miscellaneous

This includes the cost of telephone and internet, souvenirs and visits to thermal baths. And the cost of all the things you buy during your walk, like sunscreen, band-aids, etc.

Total costs (approx.) for the pilgrimage in the overview

Overnight stay inMinshuku/ Ryokan/
Shukubō/ Hotel
Guest House/
Henro House
 
Accommodation Costs7,500 YEN3,500 YEN
Dinner + Breakfast inclusive1,500 YEN
Lunch + Beverages 1,200 YEN1,200 YEN
At the temple840 YEN840 YEN
Pilgrimage Equipment + Miscellaneous 800 YEN800 YEN
Costs/day (YEN)10,340 YEN7,840 YEN
Total/ 42 days (YEN)435,000 YEN330,000 YEN
Costs/day (USD)70 USD53 USD
Total/ 42 days (USD)3,000 USD2,250 USD
Costs/day (EUR)70 EUR53 EUR
Total/ 42 days (EUR)3,000 EUR2,250 EUR

Costs before and after the pilgrimage

  • For travel to Shikoku and back.
    This is basically the cost of your flight to Japan.
    The intercity bus from Kansai Airport (Osaka) to Shikoku (Tokushima) costs about 4,500 yen. The overnight bus from Tokyo Airport to Shikoku (Tokushima) costs about 11,000 yen.
  • For hiking equipment, such as hiking boots, backpack, etc.
  • For Kōya-san: Many pilgrims visit Kōya-san in Wakayama Prefecture on Japan’s main island of Honshū before and/or after the pilgrimage trek. Plan for travel and lodging expenses for this as well.
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