Tip 4: Take inspiration from the blogs of other henro, have a look at the issues they encountered and what they experienced. You are already doing a great job: After all, you found my website!
My search for information about Shikoku88 on internet gave me several hits of websites where previous pilgrims were sharing their experiences. I liked to read blogs from other pilgrims. Reading those blogs gave me a good (first) impression of what awaited me. Through these blogs I discovered that there is a site with the ‘Hagimori-list’ with cheap of free lodgings. Thanks to Taryn’s blog, for instance, I became sure of the fact that I wanted to visit Pavilion Surf. More about that when I’ll talk about where to stay the night. It also provided me with a rough idea of how much distance a hiking pilgrim is able to cover in a day (about 30km).
As I was looking through my local library’s website, I discovered the Dutch book “The Magic of Shikoku (De Magie van Shikoku)”. Yvonne Schoutsen wrote it after her henro. I really enjoyed reading it. I also noticed, while reading, that the way in which she approached the Buddhist setting did not suit me. As a result, I did not do extra research into the different depictions and statues that I encountered along the roadside. In this way you will find that everyone makes their own pilgrimage, and every experience is different and your own.
Become a member of the Facebook-groups
While I was on Shikoku, I heard from Geertje Preuter, another Dutch Henro, that there were henro groups on Facebook. I became a member shortly after. That gave me the opportunity to have an interesting conversation via Messenger with Don Weiss. He asked me to fill in the three questions that you apparently could see in your browser. I didn’t see them on my Facebook app… and so he didn’t want to admit me. In the end, all was well that ended well, when I told him that I had been under-way from quite a while and was sleeping in temple 17 that night. After having contact with him over the years, of course, I know that he doesn’t live far from there…
Which blogs did I use?
I started preparing in 2018 and soon found out there was limited information available at that time. Nowadays there is a lot more to be found searching the internet. Some of the henro who proceeded you have made blogs and/ or websites with tips.
Shikoku bureau of Tourism with information on the henro
Min88 – a Japanese site with information on the henro – use a browser plug-in to translate if you can’t read Japanese.
Read blogs from other pilgrims
Background information on the Shikoku88
Websites with tourist information
Did you find more blogs/ websites?
Or do you have any suggestions on preparing via the internet? Leave a comment and I will add it to the list.