Pilgrimage On Shikoku Island

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

    Walking at the age of 19

    Shikoku Henro Trail

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

    Walking at the age of 19 Empty Walking at the age of 19

    Post by Shikoku Henro Trail on Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:09 am

    Originally posted by several members in 2012 and 2013.


    « Thread started on: Apr 21st, 2012, 2:56pm »

    I would like to walk the 88 temple pilgrimage. I'm still a bit hesitant about going, but I think it would give me such an experience and insight in myself. I want to go in 2013 at around this day (end april).
    (I'm from the Netherlands if this matters)

    I've been reading the topics on this forum and I noticed that a age of 44 is considered young, at least by the Japanese Henro.
    At the time I want to go I will be 19 and almost 20 (so maby this will give problems, because in Japan you're an adult at the age of 20).

    I wanted to ask if someone here has experience with the pilgrimage of this age, or knows somebody like this and would like to share this.

    Thanks in advance,



    « Reply #1 on: Apr 22nd, 2012, 04:22am »
    Hi, when I walked back in 2010 I met Japanese guys walking the trail who were 17 and 19, who were easy going and full of energy. I also spoke to an old lady near temple 29 who said she'd met a 16 year old henro...unfortunately he had been dumped on the trail by his parents as he was doing nothing at home...she did however say that older pilgrims were looking out for him. hope that helps.

    dukkha Smile


    Shikoku Henro Trail

    « Reply #2 on: Apr 22nd, 2012, 08:06am »
    I have met a great many henro that look to be around 20 years old, but since i never ask people's ages i can't say for sure.

    But, that aside, i just can't stop smiling as i read your post. Your chronological age is completely irrelevant to this walk. All that matters is how old you are in your head. If you can spend a couple of months walking all day, every day, with a pack on your back, without supervision or the need of parental help, then you are fine. If your personality is that of an adult, no matter your age, then you are fine.

    I left home and joined the service as soon as i turned 18, and never looked back (a long, long time ago). By the time i turned 20 i couldn't remember any other life. My point is, 19/20 is not too young to take on the world if you have your head straight.

    Dukkha, loved the story about the kid that got dumped on the trail by his parents. Smile




    « Reply #3 on: Apr 22nd, 2012, 2:39pm »
    Thanks for the quick reactions!

    I want to do this early because I want to 'choose' what kind of life I'm going to live, so hoping with the experience I probably will gain I can choose my path of life closer to my hearth. Instead of just studying something and find work.
    How earlier the experience, how longer the experience will have influence on my life, so I think tongue

    Is there anything I have to arrange (like health insurance) beforehand (with parents permission) because I'm not considered an adult by the Japanese law?

    Funny story of that kid Dukkha Smile




    « Reply #4 on: Apr 24th, 2012, 05:38am »
    my suggestions...health insurance a must...I never had to use mine, but can get expensive if u need to access help. I'd have a general medical and dental check-up before you go. Parental permission...not sure, I reckon if you can write on the immigration disembarking card some address of someone you might know in Japan, and say you're on holidays and going to stay with them, that should cover that concern....though may not be necessary.

    I wish I'd done the henro earlier like you're thinking...but hey we move when we're ready....and you'll know if you're ready.

    As for the young guy dumped on the trail...though funny...it describes the spirit of humility and support on the trail...regardless of race, age, fitness, language, gender...everyone is henro, and support and assistance appears often when you least expect it. The trail is an organic path defined more by people you meet along the way than the static temples and pathways.

    Other henro seldom shared names, age or address...but they would share food, advice, and ear to listen to your worries and concern.

    Enjoy your henro Smile


    peter sons

    « Reply #5 on: Jun 20th, 2012, 10:54pm »
    If you think you must try go for it but be sure you take all the precautions....



    « Reply #6 on: Jun 23rd, 2012, 3:51pm »
    yes I agree with Peter, I say go for it but plan as best you can and take precautions.

    Some recent news, my son returned from doing the Tokushima segment of Henro last month. He was 17 (nearly 18) when he left. He had no problems. People were curious as to why he was doing the pilgrimage at such a young age. But he wore the henro jacket, and showing up as a pilgrimage and was offered support and assistance regardless of his age. smiley


    Harris Allen

    « Reply #7 on: Jul 4th, 2012, 12:03am »
    Yeah That's right dukkha, Age doesn't matter that much if someone is interested in it, So just planning doesn't work, until and unless we actually do it. So just Go for it!!

    « Last Edit: Jul 4th, 2012, 12:04am by Harris Allen »



    « Reply #8 on: Sep 26th, 2013, 1:57pm »
    Hi there, I know this thread has been down for some time but If anyone is still interested in the topic I walked the trail in early 2013. I am 19 years old and English , I camped almost every night ( being to cheap for accommodation) and had one of the best experiences possible. If anything doing the trail at a young age was in some ways a good thing, as I felt at times I received more than my share of gifts due to my age. In all the trail took me around 60 days , with Bangai. I also walked it alone if that was a concern.

    P.s. Just in my opinion tents are simply not worth as they are far to heavy and even walking in march I found it warm enough to do without, the only issue being rain.

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