Thursday, September 21, 2017

Sasaguri 88 Temple Pilgrimage


Sasaguri, in the mountains just north of the sprawling metropolis of Fukuoka, is home to a miniature version of the famous 88 temple Shikoku Pilgrimage. It is less than 50 kilometers in length, but took me 4 tough days to walk because it is up and down, up and down.


Some of the temples are quite large complexes, in fact the pilgrimage stops at Nanzoin, home to the largest reclining Buddha in Japan. Many of the temples are small, wayside chapels, unmanned but usually with quite a lot of statuary. Surprisingly, in such a small area, the route also passes by many other temples that are not included in the pilgrimage.


Being in the mountains there is a high percentage of temples with waterfalls that are used for ascetic training, consequently there are many, many statues of Fudo Myo,..... literally hundreds of them.
The highest point reached is 680 meters above sea level, to a cave on top of Mount Wakasugi where Kobo Daishi spent time after he returned from China.


A few kilometers are along busy main roads, but most of the route is either well marked walking trails or narrow mountain roads with no traffic. You pass through a lot of bamboo forest including one on the 3rd day that was the most enchanting bamboo forest I've ever been in....


6 comments:

  1. HI OJISANJAKE! i'm planning to do this walk next april. from the maps i've seen it seems you don't actually walking the trail in number order. do you have any advise on this? also do you have suggestions for places to stay and where it is best to break up the day/s. THANKS!!

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  2. There is a reccommended order but many people we met were doing it differently. Best thing to do is study the maps and figure out what is best for you,... how much you want to walk a day, time of the year... There are some places to stay but we stayed in hakata and took the 20 minute train every day

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  3. thanks for your response! yes that seems like the wise thing to do. many more and cheaper accom options in hakata. i really appreciate your help!

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    Replies
    1. I walk a lot of pilgrimages and I was expecting to do it in 3 easy days but it took 4 long days.....

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