{Shikoku Hachijūhachikasho Meguri}

--PLANNING--
--WHAT DOES IT COST?--

I think it is obvious that the cost of this pilgrimage is going to vary widely depending on whether or not you are starting from a home in Japan or overseas, whether you stay at a minshuku each night or sleep outdoors, whether you walk it in two months, one month, or go around in some other way, etc. There is no way to say what this trip is going to cost each and every henro — we are all different. Having said that, these are some guidelines to use as a benchmark and help you make plans.

Below i have included two tools to help you figure out what the trip might cost you. First is a list of the items that you may need to buy and the range in their approximate prices. At the very bottom of the page is a calculator that uses those costs and should allow you to come up with an approximate total for your trip.

In general, though, it can be said right up front that this trip is not cheap, even if you camp out each and every night. Almost all henro will end up carrying large sums of mney — usually thousands of dollars. In the "old days" i carried this as a mixture of cash and traveler's checks, but traveler's checks are no longer an option — no banks or post office branches on Shikoku now exchange them. The best option today, and the option almost everyone uses, is to carry some cash and take money out of ATM machines every few days to replinish your supply as needed.

Banks are usually open from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Some branches in the larger cities may keep later hours, and some may be open on Saturdays until 2:00 pm.

ATM Machines
Almost everyone now uses ATM machines, and these are everywhere simply because they can be found in most post offices and in almost every convenience store all around the island. In particular, maybe every 7-11 store has an ATM that allows you to withdraw cash with a foreign credit card.

7-11 is your ticket to accessing your money, and everything you need to know about where, when, and how can be found on their web site: www.sevenbank.co.jp/intlcard/index2.html. They say the limit per transaction for foreign issued cards is ¥100,000. Other convenience stores, such as Family Mart and Sun-K-US, also have ATM machines available.

The other very convenient option are all the ATM machines located at post offices. Every post office indicated in the guidebook Shikoku Japan 88 Route Guide will have an ATM machine from which you can withdraw money. It seems that how much you can withdraw with each transactions depends on your card: some cards are limited to ¥30,000/transaction, others are limited to ¥100,000/transaction. Once you find a machine you can choose which language you want to interact with. Then simply follow the instructions. See their web site: www.jp-bank.japanpost.jp/en/ias/en_ias_index.html

A Few Words of Caution
Because you are travelling in a cash oriented country, you are going to end up carrying a lot more cash than you may be used to. However, my recommendation is NOT to carry all of your money in cash. During each week of the walk, withdraw just enough cash from an ATM to cover your planned expenses for the next week, plus a little extra "just in case." If the worst should happen and you lose your money (through foolishness or robbery), if you were carrying everything, you are out of luck and your pilgrimage may be over; if most of your money is still in the ATM, you can't lose everything.

The good news is that the crime rate in Japan is still very low. I never once felt threatened while on the island, and never once felt worried about my money. With common sense precautions, carrying all this money will not be a problem. These precautions include:

In general
Excluding the costs of outfitting yourself, the costs of any books & maps, and the costs of getting there, in general you can use these average costs as a starting point in your plans:

Specifically
I spent about $6,300 for my walk in 1999, but that included airfare, books, everything. The cost has obviously gone up since then, and for my most recent walk of Kōchi, Ehime, and Kagawa Prefectures in 2016 the total cost was about $3,500, not including airfare. During this 2016 walk, i usually spent about ¥8,000–¥8,500/day. Of that, ¥7,000 was for lodging each night and the remaining ¥1,500 was for lunch, snacks and occasional miscellaneous.

Anthony Kimple walked the trail in 2005, and either camped out or stayed in a Tsūyadō or Zenkonyado every night. Regarding his total cost, he says:

"My total cost for food and lodging was around $900, paying for lodging only twice at two tsūyadō (¥300 and ¥200). This total is mostly camping and maybe 10 tsūyadō, and eating food at convenience and grocery stores."

Sam Miller and Noah Zimmerman walked the trail in 2006, camped out every night. Regarding their costs, Sam wrote:

"After graduating college, me and a friend did the Shikoku pilgrimage in February and March of 2006. I thought if you ever got contacted by a group of young guys looking for ways to do the trip super cheap you could put them in touch with us. We managed to average spending about 30 dollars a day and slept in a tent each night."



You can use the table below to come up with an approximate cost for your pilgrimage. It reflects current prices to the best of my ability to determine them. However, just for reference purposes, and because i am asked for this on a regular basis, i am attaching here an Excel spreadsheet of the final costs from my 1999 trip around the island. Since then, prices have gone up, but not a lot.

---APPROXIMATE COST SUMMARY---
(2014 Prices)


Roundtrip airfare between home and Kansai International Airport Varies
Guidebook/Maps: Shikoku Japan 88 Route Guide
(If bought at Temple 1. Also available online.)
¥1,600
Visiting The Sacred Sites of Kūkai
(Only available online & varies depending on where it is shippped to)
Varies
Hiking boots or shoes $100 and up
Back Pack $100 and up
Rain Gear $125 and up


Nōkyōchō (Temple stamp book) ¥2,000 – ¥3,500
Kongōtsue (Walking stick) ¥1,500 – ¥2,500
Jirei (Bell)
Usually worn on your belt or attached to the top of your walking stick.
¥300 – ¥2,000
Hakui, or Oizuru (White henro jacket)
(The price is higher if you want one with any writing on it)
¥1,800 – ¥3,000
Sugegasa (Conical sedge hat)
Rain cover extra, but not needed on the very expensive ones.
¥2,000 – ¥30,000
Wagesa (Cotton or silk scarf, the layman's equivalent of a monk's kesa) ¥1,500 – ¥3,000
Juzu, or Nenzu (Rosary)
(The price really varies from 1,500 yen up to the tens of thousands of yen)
¥1,500 – ¥5,000
Osame Fuda (Name slips)
(One packet of 200 isn't enough if you visit the bangai temples and/or give them to all of the people who offer you settai — like you are supposed to.)
¥200 for a packet of 200
Candles (Commonly sold in boxes of about 60 candles/box) ¥250/box
Incense Sticks (The box i bought had about 150 sticks in it) ¥360/box
Kyōhon (Little book with the Heart Sutra and all the mantras and goeika that you chant at each temple) ¥700
Fuda-basami (Bag to carry the henro necessities that you don't wear. ) ¥1,500 – ¥3,800


60 nights lodging ¥7,000/night average
Breakfast and Dinner
These are almost always included in the cost of the minshuku, in which case there is no extra charge.
¥0
Breakfast and Dinner
In the rare cases where they are not included in the cost of the minshuku, or you're camping out, you'll have to eat at a restaurant or buy something at the local grocery store or convenience store.
¥500 – ¥1000/day
Each meal
Lunch, Snacks, & Miscellaneous during the day ¥1,000/day at most


Stamps in Nōkyōchō ¥300/temple
Times the number
of temples you visit
Offerings given at each Hondō and Daishidō
People say to give anything between ¥10 and ¥100 at the Hondō and Daishidō of each temple
¥1,760 – ¥21,600
Plus the Bangai Temples?


Train from Kansai International Airport to Wakayama City ¥870
Train from Kansai International Airport to Nanba Station in Ōsaka ¥920
Train from Wakayama City to Mt. Kōya ¥1,690
Train from Nanba Station in Ōsaka to Mt. Kōya ¥1,260
Bus from Kōya Station into Kōya Town ¥210
Train from Wakayama City to Wakayama Port ¥150
Ferry to Tokushima ¥2,000
Bus from Tokushima Port to Tokushima Station ¥200
Bus from Nanba Station in Ōsaka to Tokushima Station
(The bus is MUCH cheaper and faster than a train)
¥3,700
Bus from Tokushima Station to Temple One ¥390
Train from Tokushima Station to Bandō Station
(Then 15 minute walk to Temple One)
¥260
Other train fares if you visit Ōsaka or Kyōto for a few days before returning home Varies
»All prices are one-way. Double as necessary.«


Souvenirs that you will buy for yourself. Varies
Omiyage that you will buy for your friends and family at home. Varies
If you live in Japan, you can buy most of the Henro Necessities at www.eitikai.co.jp (in Japanese), with free shipping. For a price, you can even buy Temple Stamp Books already stamped. At present, they do not deliver internationally.




---BASIC COST CALCULATOR---

You can use this next section to calculate an approximate cost for your trip. It uses JavaScript, so make sure your browser allows you to run JavaScript scripts.

Select the radio button or check box to the left of every item you want included in your cost, i.e., what you think you will be spending, and then click on the "Calculate" button on the bottom of the page. This gives you a total in Japanese Yen. Enter the current US Dollar/Yen or Euro/Yen exchange rate and click on the "Convert" button to see the total in one of those currencies.

This calculator does not include the cost for things that you need to buy before leaving home, like your airfare, backpack, boots, etc.

Henro Necessities
Guidebook/Maps — Shikoku Japan 88 Route Guide
  None ¥1,600      
Nōkyōchō (Temple stamp book)
  None ¥2,000 ¥3,000    
Kongōtsue (Walking stick)
  None ¥1,500 ¥2,500    
Jirei (Bell)
  None ¥300 ¥750 ¥1,000 ¥2,000
Hakui, or Oizuru (White henro jacket)
  None ¥1,800 ¥2,250 ¥3,000  
Sugegasa (Conical sedge hat)
  None ¥2,000 ¥5,000 ¥10,000 ¥30,000
Wagesa (Cotton or silk scarf, the layman's equivalent of a monk's kesa)
  None ¥1,500 ¥3,000    
Juzu, or Nenzu (Rosary)
  None ¥1,500 ¥3,000 ¥5,000  
Osame Fuda (Name slips) (¥200/packet of 200)
  None ¥200 ¥400    
Candles (¥250/box of about 60)
  None ¥250 ¥500 ¥750 ¥1,000
Incense Sticks (¥360/box of about 150)
  None ¥360 ¥720    
Kyōhon (Sutra/Mantra/Goeika book)
  None ¥700      
Fuda-basami (Bag to carry the henro necessities)
  None ¥1,500 ¥2,500 ¥3,800  

Food & Lodging
Lodging (¥7,000/night)
  None
  ¥21,000 (Very Rarely: 3 nights)
  ¥70,000 (Occasionally: 10 nights)
  ¥315,000 (45 nights)
  ¥350,000 (50 nights)
  ¥385,000 (55 nights)
Breakfast & Dinner (¥1,000/meal/day)
  None (included in lodging)
  ¥90,000 (45 days)
  ¥100,000 (50 days)
  ¥110,000 (55 days)
Lunch, Snacks, & Miscellaneous (¥1,000/day)
  None
  ¥45,000 (45 days)
  ¥50,000 (50 days)
  ¥55,000 (55 days)

Temple Stamps & Offerings
Stamps in Nōkyōchō (¥300/stamp)
  None
  ¥26,400 (88 main temples only)
  ¥32,400 (88 main temples and 20 bangai temples)
Offerings given at each Hondō and Daishidō
  None
  ¥1,760 (¥10 / hall / temple x 88 main temples)
  ¥8,800 (¥50 / hall / temple x 88 main temples)
  ¥17,600 (¥100 / hall / temple x 88 main temples)
  ¥2,160 (¥10 / hall / temple x 88 main temples and 20 bangai temples)
  ¥10,800 (¥50 / hall / temple x 88 main temples and 20 bangai temples)
  ¥21,600 (¥100 / hall / temple x 88 main temples and 20 bangai temples)

Transportation
(approximate)
[6/27/15: These are out of date; i'll update them soon.]
  None
 
  From Narita Airport to Tōkyō (Keisei Line: ¥2,000)
  From Tōkyō to Ōsaka (¥14,000)
 
  From Chubu International Aiport to Nagoya (¥850)
  From Nagoya to Ōsaka (¥2,300)
 
  From Kansai International Airport direct to Tokushima Eki Mae (¥4,000)
  From Kansai International Airport to Ōsaka (¥1,900)
  From Kansai International Airport to Mt. Kōya (¥2,700)
 
  From Ōsaka to Temple 1 (¥4,000)
  From Ōsaka to Mt. Kōya (Nankai Line: ¥1,250)
 
  From Mt. Kōya to Temple 1 (¥4,700)
  From Tokushima Eki Mae to Temple 1 (¥390)
 
  From Temple 1 back to Kansai International Airport (via Ōsaka: ¥5,900)
  From Temple 1 back to Chubu International Aiport (¥7,150)
  From Temple 1 back to Narita Airport (¥20,000)
Total: ¥ 
 
 
 
   
Exchange Rate:  ¥/$
Exchange Rate:  ¥/€
 
Equals: $         
   


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