How much does it cost to walk the Shikoku Pilgrimage?

Japanese yen coins and bills

The cost of your Shikoku pilgrimage depends, of course, largely on the duration of your pilgrimage. And on your requirements in terms of accommodation and food.
For the vast majority of foreign pilgrims, another big item is the cost of the flight to Japan.

In this article, you will find out what you should expect to pay for a pilgrimage on Shikoku.
(As of June 2023: 1,000 yen equals approximately 7.20 USD or 6.70 EUR).

Accommodation costs

For most pilgrims, accommodation expenses are the biggest cost factor during the pilgrimage. These expenses can vary greatly from person to person.

The typical costs for an overnight stay during the pilgrimage on Shikoku given here serve as a guide for your planning.

AccommodationTypical costsMeals incl.
Minshuku 7,000 YENDinner + Breakfast
Ryokan 7,700 YENDinner + Breakfast
Shukubō 7,700 YENDinner + Breakfast
Business-Hotel6,600 YENnone
Hotel9,000 YENnone
Guest House3,500 YENnone
Henro House 3,500 YENnone

More about free overnight stays.

  • In minshuku, ryokan and shukubō, overnight stays can also be booked without meals. This reduces the costs by about 2,000 yen per night (sudomari = overnight stay without meals).
  • Depending on the ryokan/hotel, accommodation costs can vary greatly. Therefore, ask about the costs before making a reservation.
  • At some places along the Shikoku Pilgrimage Route, cheap accommodation is also offered via Airbnb.

Cost of food and drinks

Breakfast costs from 500 yen.
Many cafés and coffee shops offer an inexpensive breakfast in the morning (morning set).
Usually includes a hot drink (coffee or tea), bread and butter, egg and salad.

Lunch costs from 600 yen.
During the week, many restaurants offer inexpensive lunches.

Drinks: At lunch and dinner, tea or water is served free of charge in the restaurants. On the road, soft drinks from vending machines common on Shikoku or from the konbinis cost between 100 yen and 200 yen. A bit cheaper in supermarkets.

Cost at the temple

Stamp in the pilgrimage book: 300 yen per temple (500 yen at temple 12).
Offerings in the Main Hall and Daishi Hall: about 150 yen per temple (voluntary).
For 88 temples: 88 × 450 yen= 39,600 yen; calculated over 42 days = 950 yen/day.

Cost of pilgrimage equipment

  • hakui 白衣 or oizuru 笈摺 (2,000 yen to 3,500 yen): White shirt worn by pilgrims on their journey. With long sleeves (hakui) or as a sleeveless shirt (oizuru).
  • nōkyōchō 納経帳 (2,000 yen to 3,500 yen): Pilgrimage book, in hardback. One page is provided in the pilgrimage book for each of the 88 temples. As proof of the temple visit, the page is stamped with three red stamps at the pilgrimage office and calligraphed with the name of the main deity of each temple in kanji. For further pilgrimages, the respective page in the pilgrimage book is stamped again, but not calligraphed.
  • osamefuda 納め札 (200 pieces 100 yen): Votive note from a pilgrim. Visiting card left by a pilgrim at the temple. Also given to locals or fellow pilgrims to thank them for a support (settai).
  • kongōzue 金剛杖 (1,500 yen bis 2,500 yen): Pilgrim’s staff.

Cost of miscellaneous

This includes the cost of telephone and internet, souvenirs and visits to thermal baths, the use of washing machines and tumble dryers.
And the cost of all the things you buy during your hike, like sunscreen, plasters, etc.

Costs before and after the pilgrimage

  • For travel to Shikoku and back.
  • This is basically the cost of your flight to Japan.
    The intercity bus from Kansai Airport (Osaka) to Shikoku (Tokushima) costs about 4,500 yen. The overnight bus from Tokyo Airport to Shikoku (Tokushima) costs about 11,000 yen.
  • For hiking equipment, such as hiking boots, backpack, etc.
  • For Kōya-san: Many pilgrims visit Kōya-san in Wakayama Prefecture on Japan’s main island of Honshū before and/or after the pilgrimage trek. Plan for travel and lodging expenses for this as well.

Total costs for the pilgrimage

Overnight stay inGuest House/
Henro House
Minshuku/ Ryokan/
Accommodation Costs3,500 YEN7,500 YEN
Dinner + Breakfast 1,400 YENinclusive
Lunch + Beverages 1,200 YEN1,200 YEN
At the temple950 YEN950 YEN
Pilgrimage Equipment + Miscellaneous 850 YEN850 YEN
Costs/day (YEN)7,900 YEN10,500 YEN
Total/ 42 days (YEN)332,000 YEN440,000 YEN
Costs/day (USD)57 USD76 USD
Total/ 42 days (USD)2,400 USD3,200 USD
Costs/day (EUR)53 EUR70 EUR
Total/ 42 days (EUR)2,200 EUR3,000 EUR

Total expenses on Shikoku are around 2,400 USD (2,200 EUR) if you stay in the cheaper guesthouses and henro houses and around 3,200 USD (3,000 EUR) if you stay mostly in minshuku/ryokan and shukubō.

Assuming a cost of 1,000 USD (1,000 EUR) for the flight to Japan and back, the visit(s) to Kōya-san and the round trip to Shikoku, the total cost is between 3,400 USD (3,200 EUR) and 4,200 USD (4,000 EUR).

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