Pilgrimage On Shikoku Island: Forum
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May 26th, 2017, 01:21am


Pilgrimage On Shikoku Island: Forum

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Goat
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xx My 2015 Camping Overview - with Pictures
« Thread started on: Feb 8th, 2017, 4:37pm »

Hey all, I've just posted an exhaustive but light-hearted list of the ways & places I threw down on my summer gyaku-uchi walk. It covers the highs & lows & places in between & is well-illustrated: http://iangfraser.com/2017/02/09/shikoku-nights-under-nylon-nights-under-stars/

I'm happy to provide any further detail to anyone with queries -- either right here, in the comments on the blog, or in private messages via the contact form on my site.

Cheers!
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Janet
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xx Re: My 2015 Camping Overview - with Pictures
« Reply #1 on: Feb 8th, 2017, 10:01pm »

That was totally enjoyable, thank you Goat!
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xx Re: My 2015 Camping Overview - with Pictures
« Reply #2 on: Feb 8th, 2017, 10:03pm »

Thank you! Nearly killed me - the post, not the walk! But I wanted a record for myself as well...
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xx Re: My 2015 Camping Overview - with Pictures
« Reply #3 on: Feb 8th, 2017, 10:42pm »

Thanks, this is great! What really surprised me is that there wasn't a single place on your list that I also stayed at. I almost stayed at the Tano michi no eki, but I was offered a stay in a nearby house for a small fee.
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xx Re: My 2015 Camping Overview - with Pictures
« Reply #4 on: Feb 8th, 2017, 10:56pm »

Wow, that is surprising! Just goes to show how much variety can be squeezed into the world's 50th-largest island!

And so many squalid bridges, vacant lots & abandoned buildings left to discover smiley
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xx Re: My 2015 Camping Overview - with Pictures
« Reply #5 on: Feb 8th, 2017, 11:10pm »

Yes, you were more adventurous than I was, I never really stayed under bridges, etc. I also cheated a bit using the train. I still stayed at an awful lot of Michi no eki and Henro huts though. While I visited many of the places you stayed, I just happened to end up staying somewhere else.
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AVR
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xx Re: My 2015 Camping Overview - with Pictures
« Reply #6 on: Apr 19th, 2017, 2:11pm »


The photos and descriptions have been helpful and has been an inspiration to me.

I will be camping for at least the first two weeks, especially so since I'll be walking during Golden Week.

I have minimal survival Japanese. However, I am slightly nervous that having brown skin will be a further hindrance when speaking to the locals when trying to ask for permission to camp.

I'm hoping this goes well.....
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xx Re: My 2015 Camping Overview - with Pictures
« Reply #7 on: Apr 19th, 2017, 11:48pm »

Hey AVR,

Happy my post was of some use to you. Best of luck with your Henro. I'm near the end of my 2nd one, this time in the "normal" direction. My blog has been suffering as I abandoned my plan to post regularly from the trail - too tired at night, and battery life on my MacBook is precarious. Instead, I've been doing one daily/nightly picture from the day on Instagram. If you're a part of that gang, my IG handle is; goattrackphotography .

As for your own camping, here's my goatly wisdom. I have never, to my recollection, on either Henro I've done, asked a local or anyone else if I can camp. I don't mean that to sound arrogant or rude, but I am a seasoned Leave No Trace camper and nobody would ever know I have been there. Why complicate things and - if your Japanese skills are poor - stress out both parties? I'm careful about where I do it (I know I listed some scummy places in that post, but the only time I was seriously trespassing, to my knowledge, was the night I was briefly in some apparently abandoned garage - but I was desperate) and crucially, I wait till sunset or a little after, all going well. If someone should happen along and raise a ruckus, your pilgrim status will go a long way.

I haven't camped in schools etc, and only a couple of time in shrines, but I'll add a detail from this Henro. I met and hung out with a pair of young French pilgrims I nicknamed the Jinja Ninjas as their preference is for rural shrines to set their tent up in. They are fussy about quiet spots (I'm not but should be). They haven't had any trouble - they go to the back somewhere secluded and set up - after sunset. A Japanese Henro told them that even if someone found them, they'd be forgiven their trespasses since they're pilgrims.

If you're really desperate and especially if it's raining, seek out a roadside pavilion ("henro goya") or similar - and there's always bridges. Nobody will hassle you. Michi-no-eki have never let me down, though they can be noisy (traffic). I've used vacant lots, construction sites etc (desperate) without trouble - I'm gone well before sun-up. As for your skin colour, I doubt it would brand you as much more "foreign" than your average white westerner. Most of the rural folk you encounter have never left their prefecture let alone their country - we're all exotic and sometimes scary to many of the older ones. But I think most are proud or intrigued that foreigners make the effort to come to Shikoku and engage with the landscape in this way.

Go stealthily into the night & sleep in peace.
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