« Thread started on: Mar 16th, 2017, 06:46am »
Greetings ! I am going to start my pilgrimage at the end of this month and finish it over the next few years. I have only a few days to get it started , three or four. I am really wondering how much I should plan on doing? I am a 38 year old relatively fit British man. I live in Japan so I can continue my journey other times. My initial idea was to do the whole of the Tokushima section in a few days but I am sensing that is not feasable. My main question is - What Is feasable? And the other one is what is the name of the guide book? I would like to order it soon. Thank you very very much for taking your time to read this.
As for feasibility. Tokushima temples from 1 to 23 is according to my plans 184km but maybe 25-30km of that is due to bangai temples and minami skyline tree route I'll be taking. So if you can walk about 30km or so per day in average guess 5 days could be doable.
However in practice you either need to walk sometimes LOT longer than 30km or you need to have tent and sleep wherever you find spot or you could run short of that easily. If you sleep on paid lodgings sometimes distances are basically dictated. Here's simple example just from the beginning.
First 11 temples cover distance of about 40km or so(45km in my plans but about 5km detour to bangai temple). If you plan to walk about 30km a day you could be thinking you are well on your way past temple 11. However temple #12 is after about 12km of hike in mountain going up several hundred meters, then down couple hundred meter, up, down and finally up to 800m. Everybody keeps saying that takes most of the day and might be toughest day in the pilgrimage. And closest paid lodging is like 4km afterwards.
Unless you camp it out better to prepare for 16-20km day with lots of climbing. That takes lots of time so doing 10km+ before that so that you could get to temple #12 and onward on day 2 is rather hectic(also remember time spent in temples) pace.
For me that sounds too much. I plan to do the #12 in one day meaning I'll be lodging as close to the start as possible. Meaning I have 45km to cover. 3 days would be too slow(no way could finish in time I have if I can't cover 45km in 2 days) so 2 days it is. This resulted in first lodging being planned for temple #6(or temple #7 or minshuku shortly before #6). Basically since I will be staying in paid lodgings and will be visiting the bangai #1 plan for first 3 days basically formed itself.
I can't push on first day much further. Temple's 6 and 7 are very close to each other so I want to do on 6 to keep number of temples in 1 day manageable. Beyond 7 next lodging is so far my 1st and 2nd days would be very unbalanced. But before temple 6 I can't really stop because that would result in like 11km and 35km days...
So in short depending on how you plan to sleep can influence your schedule a lot. Sometimes there simply ain't possible to walk further unless you are willing to do like 40km+ day!
My plan roughly:
Day 1: Up to temple 6(plus BG1) Day 2: Up to temple 11 Day 3: Temple 12, then 4km further Day 4: Temples 13-16(and BG2) Day 5: Temples 17-19 Day 6: Bangai 3 Day 7: Temples 20-22 Day 8: Temple 23
Assuming you stay on paid lodgings then if you skip bangai temples and want to push faster you could on day 4 go to temple 17(maybe even tad further), then on day 5 go to minshuku close to temple 20(I will be staying around there after BG3). This way you could basically cut my day 6 off entirely saving day allowing you to do it in 7 days. Last day when you would reach to 23 would be shortish 20km or so so you could get started on your return journey(or head as far toward Kochi as you want).
If you camp you have more freedom so you could cut at least 1 day probably. Push further on day 1, on day 2 camp somewhere between 11 and 12 in mountains etc.
Re: Tokushima Ponderings
« Reply #2 on: Mar 17th, 2017, 12:23am »
Thank you so so much for this reply and information. I have ordered the book and I think now that I can relalistically do most of Tokushima and then return to finish it another time. Yes, I will be staying in paid lodgings though will play it by ear. A tent will slow me down too much.