Pilgrimage On Shikoku Island

Online forum for discussions related to the 88 temple pilgrimage on Shikoku, Japan.

    General accommodation questions

    Shikoku Henro Trail

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    Join date : 2018-04-12
    Location : Chicago, USA

    General accommodation questions Empty General accommodation questions

    Post by Shikoku Henro Trail on Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:58 am

    Originally posted by several members between 2014 and 2016.


    « Thread started on: Oct 20th, 2014, 04:03am »
    Dear fellow travellers,
    I would like to ask you a few simply questions, but I can't find proper answers anywhere and it's only thing which is still unclear to me.

    1. Is possible to find some type of accommodation just when I decide I'm tired so I want to stop in some village, then find some accommodation there, without doing anything in advance? Or this is unreal? Money is last issue in this case.
    2. If previous is not possible and I must have atleast something arranged in advance, how is possible to find and contact those hotels? I found only very small number of hotels/ryokans available online. Calling every day before I accomodate is something I really really don't want to do.
    3. Is some type of accommodation in every village or definitely not? I have Route Guyide by Buyodo Co. and there is a few tips about that, but I assume it all will be full (planning on April 2015)
    4. Any other tip, regarding finding accommodation is very welcome

    Thank you very much !!!


    Shikoku Henro Trail

    « Reply #1 on: Oct 20th, 2014, 07:41am »

    Here's my opinion...

    Money is not the issue. In the vast majority of towns you walk through there will be no lodging available for any amount of money. Shikoku is still a rural island and tourism is not a big portion of their economy so there is no way for lodging of any type to stay in business.

    There are few hotels outside of the known tourist locations, which usually are NOT on the henro trail. Minshuku and ryokan seem to be difficult to keep in business because the number of customers are few so these, too, are not in every town.

    You will find hotels in all larger towns and cities that you pass through, but these are usually on the outskirts of the four prefectural capitals (Tokushima, Kochi, Matsuyama, Takaatsu). The one exception, is along the northern coast of the island. That's full of hotels from about Temple 60 all the way to Temple 65. Like anywhere else, you don't need a reservation at hotels.

    This means, on most days you will find no lodging anywhere if you simply wait until you decide to stop to start looking for something.

    Every walker i have ever met finds their lodging in either the 88 Route Guide or in the Japanese equivalent that Japanese walkers carry. I know of no other way to find lodging, but there are probably other minshuku listed online in Japanese if you took the time to search.

    Now that i've painted a dark picture (but honest and true, i think), there is one bright side. If you show up in a town without a reservation but still go to a minshuku and ask for a room, there is a reasonable chance that they will say OK and give you a room IF YOU TELL THEM YOU DON"T NEED FOOD. If you tell them all you want is a place to sleep, no dinner and no breakfast, i think most will let you stay the night if they have a room. In fact, i would be surprised if they said no.




    « Reply #2 on: Oct 20th, 2014, 08:11am »
    Ok.., I think it will work somehow when will be on place..

    Thank you very much for your clear and straightforward reply!



    « Reply #3 on: Dec 17th, 2014, 03:34am »
    please, one more thing about the accommodation, if possible... I have almost everything planned (dates, etc.), except accommodation; still not sure how to do this.

    For example, when I check 88 Route Guide (Buyodo Co.) around temple #11 (Fujiidera), I can see only icon with Hashiyama Rest Hut (without any contact number), nothing else. But I read on many places that good is eg. Fujiya Ryokan, but how can I find their contact? It's just an example, but I have no idea how to find even contact to those accommodations or accommodation on another places.

    Next, eg. temple #12 (Shosanji), there is no any accommodation recommendation in 88 Route Guide.

    Maybe I'm looking wrong or I just don't understand properly, but to me it seems there is no possible to find any sleeping options BEFORE I'll be on the place, but it a must to call before my arrival. So basically I'm lost and have no idea how to resolve this. On a few web pages I read that there is many accommodation listed in that guide, but I can find amost none.

    Please, may I ask for clarification of this? Generally, I cannot find or see any lodging recommendation incl. contact in that guide (except Shukubo)... I'm diabetic so basically I must eat three times in a day and cannot afford to do not do that or half day find available bed, but still want to try this wonderful trail.

    Thank you so much!

    EDITED: I just discovered tiny purple accomodation names with phones Smile, so it make sense now; although it's really very limited. It will be adventure itself.

    « Last Edit: Dec 17th, 2014, 05:18am by runetek »


    Shikoku Henro Trail

    « Reply #4 on: Dec 17th, 2014, 10:07am »
    Yes, all lodging is listed in the purple ink with the phone numbers. BUT NOTE: BE SURE to check the forum in the "88 Route Guide" section for the latest list of closed lodging or lodging that has changed name or phone number. Then transfer that information to your guidebook before leaving.

    Two other things.

    1) While lodging is limited in some areas, as you walk you will find that there are more than enough to satisfy any walker. In my opinion. It is only in certain areas that lodging is limited, and usually that is around the mountain temples.

    2) One of the very first lessons that all walking henro learn, i imagine, is that you adjust how far you want to walk each day to where you find lodging for that night. Not the other way around. What i do each day is decide how far i want to walk and then look for lodging at about that distance. If i find something, and get a room, then all is well. If i don't find something where i want it, i then have to adjust how far i walk --- less than i wanted or more than i wanted --- so i stop at the room i was able to reserve.

    There will be some/many days where how far you walk is dictated by where you get a room. It a fact we walkers just have to accept.




    « Reply #5 on: Apr 19th, 2016, 9:54pm »
    I think the best way to approach the lodging situation on Shikoku is to treat all of the minshuku and smaller ryokan as a form of osettai by their proprietors. I'm not familiar with the economics of running a seasonal lodge in rural Japan, but the way I see it, the average ¥6500 1 night, 2 meal stay can't be a very profitable business. The inns are run by people who enjoy being a part of the pilgrimage and helping henro with their services, conversation, and advice.

    From their perspective, it is a huge inconvenience and a hit to their bottom line when they have to deal with strangers who show up after dark, stragglers, and no-shows. It is in the best interests of everybody (including yourself, your fellow henro, and the future of the pilgrimage in general) to treat these inns as settai, and be appropriately courteous and gracious.

    For what it's worth, there appears to be a movement among the locals on Shikoku to convert some of the many abandoned houses and apartment buildings around the island into Henro inns. There are already a couple of old schoolhouses which have been turned into ryokan on the trail.

    EDIT: Whoops, sorry for resurrecting a dead thread.

    « Last Edit: Apr 19th, 2016, 9:55pm by MakotoUeno »



    « Reply #6 on: Jul 27th, 2016, 08:36am »
    on Dec 17th, 2014, 03:34am, runetek wrote:
    For example, when I check 88 Route Guide (Buyodo Co.) around temple #11 (Fujiidera), I can see only icon with Hashiyama Rest Hut (without any contact number), nothing else. But I read on many places that good is eg. Fujiya Ryokan, but how can I find their contact? It's just an example, but I have no idea how to find even contact to those accommodations or accommodation on another places.

    Just so you know, the walk between 11 and 12 is the absolute worst part of the entire trail. I was able to sleep in a hut next to an onsen near temple 11, and I made a reservation at Sudachi-kan which is after Temple 12. It took me over 8 hours to walk up and down the three mountains between 11 and 12, and although I originally planned to walk the entire route, I gratefully accepted a ride from temple 12 to my lodging when I was offered one. Some other Henro camped halfway between the two temples, and I probably should have as well. There is no food available between these two temples, so plan accordingly.

    EDIT: haha, I'm also posting in a dead thread. Still, the walk between 11 and 12 changed my entire outlook on walking vs other means of transport.

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