Pilgrimage On Shikoku Island

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


    Bike and gear theft?

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    Shikoku Henro Trail
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    Bike and gear theft?

    Post by Shikoku Henro Trail on Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:24 am

    Originally posted by several members in 2016 and 2017.
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    dldlpl

    « Thread started on: Sep 14th, 2016, 9:21pm »
    Greetings,

    I would be grateful for thoughts about security of bike and gear. To what extent do I need to protect my bike and equipment from theft? I have lived in Tokyo and know that, on balance, theft is uncommon. However, on a pilgrimage route and in tiny villages, trekking "gear" might be attractive. So, more concretely, will it be OK to leave my bike and gear near the entrance to temples? Will a "deterrence" lock be enough, or is something more robust wise? Should I plan on carrying panniers and other detachable stuff, or can they be safely left on the bike?

    I understand that there are no certainties and "stuff happens", but I would be grateful for any thoughts and experience. Conclusions about these issues impact weight planning, gearing, equipment choices, residence strategies, even schedule.

    Thanks very much

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    slc

    « Reply #1 on: Sep 14th, 2016, 10:15pm »
    I did the pilgrimage this spring. When I first left my pack at the bottom of the staircases at temple 10 I was worried, but I eventually stopped worrying about leaving stuff as the trip went on.

    I left my stuff in front of hundreds of shops/convenience stores/restaurants during the trip. I left it in Henro huts multiple times. Usually I took the pack into the temple grounds and set it on a bench, but if there was the possibility of leaving the pack behind and coming back down the same way when the temple was on a mountain, I did so. Once I left it at a house that a guesthouse owner drew a map to and told me to leave it there. I don't know for certain that I got the right house, but when I returned hours later the pack was still there. Sometimes you can leave it at a souvineer/tea shop at the bottom of a mountain if you buy a drink and ask. When in the cities, you can leave it in a coin locker. Most hotels/inns/whatever will take your stuff and hold it for you before check-in time.

    Once I dropped something halfway up a mountain, when I realized it was missing I asked a Henro coming up behind me if he had seen it, which he had, and he led me back to it after we visited the temple and we became good friends.

    I didn't have a bike, so I don't have any input on that, but I left my gear exposed time and time again, and plenty of people could have just grabbed it and took off, but nobody ever did.

    The only issue I ever had was leaving my stampbook/nameslips on a bench at temple 81 while I climbed the stairs to the main hall. Somebody picked them up and was trying to find their owner. Since my email address was on my nameslips they almost took them home in order to contact me. While nice of them, it would have been very inconvenient to be separated from my stampbook at that temple. Luckily I came back down the stairs right before they almost left with them.

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    dldlpl

    « Reply #2 on: Sep 15th, 2016, 10:27pm »
    Thank you for this extremely helpful reply! Your commentary evokes one of the great beauties of Japanese society. If only they could cease paving roads and laying track on their beautiful coastlines...

    Do you have a blog or other publication about your Camino de Shikoku?

    Regards,

    david

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    slc

    « Reply #3 on: Sep 16th, 2016, 12:01am »
    I posted mainly for friends/family to keep tabs on me so it's geared to them and might be lacking in finer details of the pilgrimage.

    https://plus.google.com/collection/A1h5RB

    I finished the pilgrimage but I still haven't posted it, perhaps I don't want to say that it's over

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    tneva82

    « Reply #4 on: Sep 16th, 2016, 05:01am »
    Don't have personal experience but having read experiences of several Japanese pilgrims they were warned of taking care of the stamp book toward the end of the pilgrim. Stamp books can be sold for real money so they are one kind of item that, especially complete or near, are of value for any thieves. And since most travel from 1 to 88 it's on the Kagawa prefecture when this danger(if it's real) should be at it's highest since most pilgrims there have almost complete stamp book.

    Of course this means bike is safe from this type of theft but for example pilgrim's white bag might not be.

    Also keep in mind this is 3rd hand information at best. This is Japanese who has walked it relaying information he got from another person so take it with grain of salt.

    Generally though Japan is very safe though so not expecting problems myself. Biggest danger being me forgetting something and remembering like 10km later! I swear I could forget my head if it wasn't nailed down to my shoulders!

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    dldlpl

    « Reply #5 on: Sep 19th, 2016, 09:22am »
    Thank you very much for your links and thoughts!

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    Damian

    « Reply #6 on: Dec 21st, 2016, 1:22pm »
    on Sep 16th, 2016, 12:01am, slc wrote:
    I posted mainly for friends/family to keep tabs on me so it's geared to them and might be lacking in finer details of the pilgrimage.

    https://plus.google.com/collection/A1h5RB

    I finished the pilgrimage but I still haven't posted it, perhaps I don't want to say that it's over



    Thanks for sharing the link to your G+ page. I enjoyed seeing your photos. A nice walk down memory lane for me. Looks like a couple of good huts have popped up since i did the walk in 2010. Hope you find time to post your remaining pics! Thanks again!

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    FlyingDutch

    « Reply #7 on: Jan 2nd, 2017, 03:23am »
    I lived in Tokyo six months, sometimes forgot my bike gears outside (the bike was parked on the road under a plastic shed), and found them back the next morning, untouched.
    And Tokyo, as huge city, should be more "evil" than the countryside...




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