Shikoku Pilgrimage


In spring of 2009, I walked the Shikoku Pilgrimage in Japan.

(Click “Posts” to read, and skip the forward below)

This is an attempt to write down the whole thing, before memory fades. Walking is an experience, but writing is an act of recreating memory, finding its holes and filling it in. This is a place for me to try out writing, in the form of a travelogue, in progress.

Why in progress? Well, draft 1 started as frantic five-minute updates whenever I found internet when walking in 2009. Draft 2 immediately after, short entries to fill in the chronology of events, just wanted a more complete blog to direct friends to.

Draft 3, perfectionist streak kicking in, the big “let’s try to practice writing, let’s maybe make it like a book!” moment. Interspersed with navel-gazing and self-consciousness and wondering why I even bother… ah well. Some experiences just want to come out, I guess. Some experiences make sense only in the writing, a post-event synthesis and shaping in structure sufficient for the brain to understand.

What’s here is sort of Draft 3.5, consolidated at various cafes over a month-long period, just before heading off to more hiking on the Appalachian Trail in summer 2011. Deadlines do work – particularly the prospect of freezing in the mountains if I start too late!

I’ve left it at there. It’s unlikely to progress further, because events have outpaced themselves. The season for remembrance is gone, and lives move on. Though of course there’s still much to improve on (to draft ten and beyond!), but that will have to wait for the next time I walk on Shikoku. And then that will be a whole different story!

Thank you for reading.

(14 June, 2011; ed. Aug 2013)


8 thoughts on “Shikoku Pilgrimage

  1. Musume San , akiramenai ! I enjoy reading your blog, in whatever style you deem appropriate. Posterity cannot judge you. Ganbare !

  2. hello,

    Thank you for the great quality of your blog, each time i come here, i’m amazed.

    [url=]black hattitude[/url].

  3. Grace-
    This is amazing! Your story is so wonderful. It’s really beautiful for you to share so much of your journey! I’m planning to walk the 88 myself-I’ve been planning this for about 3 years now, and it seems that I always end up unemployed some time during the summer, and my finances go all to hell–and I postpone it for another year. The plan now is for 2011. I’m going to try to stick to that date!
    I’m glad that I found your blog before doing the walk–you’ve got so much useful information, as well as those wonderful stories about all of the great experiences you had.
    You seem like a really brave girl-I’m a 36 yo man, and I’m not sure if I would have struck out in the middle of the night on my own, with only a torch!
    Congratulations on your success, and I can’t wait to read the rest of your story!

    • hi hal,
      thank you for the wonderful comment. i hope you make it to shikoku at some point 🙂
      sorry for the updating delay, been caught up with work (excuses!!) but will get it done, must get it done! thank you for reading!

  4. ? The decor really works? .
    One is finally able 結願 this fall.
    What Naa Temashita thinking what I was walking to this view it.
    I blog thing is impossible I can not believe everyone is impressed.
    Some people will be happy, you have frustrated some people.
    From a personality that is, some things I’m weak at best.
    Is seeing, feeling, thinks, and I think if you write a good and honest.
    Same time, same way, things seem to walk even in the same scene from different people is the
    I think every day is busy and, I hope someone will write and update a little at the time.

    Japan was far from empty, the bus driver from pink

  5. Hey Grace,

    Haven’t met ya since early expara days. saw u in the papers in the other day. haha. Wow this pilgrimage makes a very intriguing read. thanks for sharing and I’ll be following ur blog =)


  6. Hello
    i am interested in cycling the route in 2010
    do you have any comments about cyclists
    using the free accomodation?

    • Hi Justin, i met a few cyclists and it should be ok for accommodation in general. some temples might mind, and but in general i didn’t see any prioritization of walkers over cyclists. just as long as you’re not a constant car/bus henro 🙂

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