{Shikoku Hachijūhachikasho Meguri}


When reading other people's jounals and books, it is obvious that each of our experiences of the henro trail are very different. While there are numerous similarities, we all come away with a slightly different perspective. Luckily for us a few other people have put their journals and stories online. Here are links to those that i know of and i encourage all to read them.

James Baquet (aka, The Temple Guy)
He walked the pilgrimage in the fall of 2001. This is his journal with a lot of pictures.

Lou Barnham
Lou walked the henro trail in Summer 2008 and wrote about it on her blog here. She also wrote a book about her experiences, titled The Cicada's Summer Song. I highly recommend reading it. It's a very well written book, a good read, and a good introduction to what life on the walk is like, especially when physically it's not going all that well. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Edwina Breitzke
The minimalist journal of Edwina Breitzke, who appears to have walked and begged her way around the henro michi in May 1997. Very interesting. Where she only writes a paragraph, she writes it in a way that my mind immediately fills in another two. I get the impression that the drawings are her's as well.

Paolo Calvino
A short blog post that Paolo wrote about his trip around the henro trail in the spring of 2011.

Bob Davies
Bob is a martial arts and civil defence instructor in Durban, South Africa and walked the henro trail in the Fall and Winter of 2005. He started and finished his trip at Mt. Kōya.

Stuart Dubois
Stuart was a policeman in the UK before heading to Shikoku. This is his journal tracking his 2011 walk, where i think he met every police officer on the island?

Britta Eisermann
Britta walked the henro trail in the Spring of 2009 and this blog tells of her experiences. It's in German so i can't read a word of it, but from an email i received, she says it was a great experience. The pictures she took are available here, on Picasa.

Wayne Emde
Wayne and his son Jason walked the henro trail in 2008 and Wayne wrote an article about it for the 9/11/08 issue of Real Travel Magazine. While the version linked to here isn't the same version as the one that appeared in print, it is close.

Nathaniel Green
According to his blog, Nathaniel is/was an English ALT in Japan at the time he walked and rode his bike around the henro michi in September '07. This isn't complete, but covers the first 18 days of his trip. I have to admit that he puzzles me as i completely disagree with his observations on how Japanese perceive Americans. I have never been treated with anything but open arms and a warm heart. I have never felt unaccepted in Japan, in general, and on Shikoku, in particular (and, yes, i once lived there for 2 years). But, he says in this blog:

"Then I came upon the walking O henro and I stopped to walk and talk to him. His name was Victor. It turns out that he is a student from France and had been walking for about three week. We have had pretty different experiences. While I have not been often able to speak to Japanese O Henro san especially after they learn that I am American, he apparently can't get them to shut up. We talked a lot about our experiences and why the Japanese treated us differently. Apparently they asked him first, same as me, if he was an American. Apparently most Japanese divide the outside world into Asian and Caucasian. Of the Caucasian world it is further divided into American and non-American. Japanese are afraid of Americans. I do not write this because I have a bone to pick, but because Japanese people use the word kowaii in reference to Americans... scary. They are afraid. They are not afraid of Europeans, Australians, or Canadians. Canada seems to be a kind of America light to them. It has all of our good qualities without the ominous threatening overwhelming force or scary self-determination that Americans have a tendency to possess and makes us uncontrollable and un-understandable to them. Also, and this is my opinion, there is a lot of bad loser left over from WWII and it is cultivated in the Japanese school system and at home, while strangely, the Japanese youth greatly admire America. The problem is with the grandparents and parents generations. "

He is completely off the mark.

Haruta (Seems to have disappeared)
Kjeld Duits, a journalist in Tōkyō, did some digging and found that this is the web site and journal of a man named Haruta. I tried to dig a little deeper but could never come up with a family name. Anything he writes, he only sighs with this single name. Thanks, Kjeld.

Armin Howald
Armin, an Australian, walked the henro trail in the summer and fall of 2009 and then again over the four years 2011-2014. He added a third and fourth walk in 2015 ane 2017. These are the journals he kept during those four walks. [2009]; [2011-2014]; [2015]; and [2017]

Charlie Kirk
Charlie walked the henro trail in the fall of 2008. Click on the "Blog" or "My Albums" links at the very top of the page to get to his thoughts and pictures.

Jim Knighten
Jim Knighten walked the henro michi in spring 2006, starting at Temple 1 and quitting for the year at Temple 43. This is the travelogue that he wrote based on that trip. He says that he will go back in March 2007 to walk the Temple 44 to Temple 65 section.

Eleanor Lefever-Taschen
Eleanor walked the henro michi in spring 2006 with no Japanese language skills whatsoever. Like many others, she began her trip at Mt. Kōya before heading over to Shikoku. This is the travelogue she wrote based on that trip and gives you a wonderful glimpse of how friendly and helpful the people you meet on the trail will be.

Michael Noakes
Mike walked the trail in the summer of 1998. It seems he camped out a lot, begged for handouts and freebies, and had money problems through Kōchi City, at which time, he got a loan from a former colleague and life improved. The site contains some of his daily journal and a short esay summarizing the whole trip.

Pam & Jeff
Pam & Jeff walked the henro trail over 58 days in the spring of 2009 and this records their daily adventures.

Zen Parry
Zen walked the pilgrimage in 2000 and considering the fact that she couldn't speak, read, or write any Japanese, she came away with some marvelous stories. These, other stories, and her art work are here.

Marc Pearl
Marc walked the henro trail in 1989. This is an online version of the journal he wrote after coming home. It's coming out in installments, so keep checking back.

Dan Spaid
Dan walked the henro trail in the spring of 2007 and kept this log by sending text messages to his blog from his cell phone. Technology is certainly changing. Since it's a blog, be sure to start at the bottom of each page and work your way towards the top.

Michael Thaler
Michael walked the first two prefectures of the pilgimage over the course of several years. Sadly, he died of cancer in January 2008 and his ashes were scatterd in the water on the coast of Hiwasa, near Temple 23. His family is maintaining his blog with his poetry, information about his trip to Shikoku, and other information.

Tom Ward's Photo Journal
Tom walked and bicycled the pilgimage over the course of several years and finally finished entire circuit in 2003. He has since rewalked several portions of the trail and during various seasons. His pictures are wonderful.

Todd Wassel
Todd walked the henro trail in both 1998 and 2005 and has written of one particularly interesting experience. Called "The Hermit In Seclusion," it talks of acceptance and opening to the unexpected.

Don Weiss
Don walked the pilgrimage twice, once in the normal clockwise direction, and once counter-clockwise. The book he wrote about his experiences, Echoes of Incense, is well worth reading and can be read online here.

Turner Wright
Turner lives on Kyūshū in Japan and walked the Tokushima Prefecture portion of the trail in the spring of 2007. He wrote of his experiences on his blog, and apparently he enjoyed it enough that he says he is certain to go back and finish the circle sometime in the future. I. Okayama,    II. Temples 1–6,    III. Osettai & Harassement,    IV. Getting Hit,    V. Behind The Veil,    VI. Breathing Free,    VII. Keeping Pace.

Alicia Wszelaki
Alicia walked the henro trail between September and November 2009. In addition to a video she has posted on YouTube (see the Other Information/Google-YouTube Videos page), she has also posted information about her time there on her company's web site, Studio Red Dot.