{Shikoku Hachijūhachikasho Meguri}


Pilgrim's Clothing
First off, the traditional dress. While you won't have to dress like the henro from Shinnen's Shikoku Henro Michi Shirube to be outfitted correctly, a henro should wear the following:

Of course, there are other items that a completely outfitted henro can carry, but anything in addition to what is listed above seems to be extra. These "extra" could include: a buddhist rosary (juzu or nenju) for use at the temples (Some people carry it wrapped around one of their wrists throughout the day); tekō, cotton covers worn over the back of the hands; kyahan, cotton gaiters to cover your ankles and the top of your boots; and even possibly jikatabi, white, cotton socks with a pocket for each toe, worn when you also wear waraji, straw sandals, instead of boots.

Let me stress, though, that you don't need to carry or wear any of the above to be a henro. What i have listed above is simply what has come down through history as the traditional dress. A i mentioned on the previous page, one of the nice things about this pilgrimage is that there is nothing that is considered right or wrong. Anything you wear can be considered more or less traditional, but not wrong. I wore a light colored hat, but not the henro hat. In 1999 i didn't carry the fuda-basami as i kept everything in my back pack, although starting in 2004 i did carry one. In 1999 i didn't wear a bell on my belt, but i did starting in 2005. When i was on the trail i saw several henro in non-traditional garb, including some in blue jeans.

Just to offer my opinion, let me say that i think all henro (yes, i mean ALL) should carry a walking stick and wear the white hakui, even if you wear no other henro related clothing. These two items single you out and let everyone know that you are a walking henro. Whether you believe me or not, this will affect your pilgrimage as just by having these two items, people will interact with you in a much different manner than if you don't have them. When people see them, they see a walking henro, as opposed to a foreign tourist, which they may or may not interact with. These items are fairly cheap — buy them. You won't regret it.

While Japanese adults still do not wear shorts in public (typically), more and more shorts are appearing on the henro trail. I see them regularly now; beginning in spring 2016 and even more so through 2017. But the catch is, they wear ankle length tights underneath them. So, while you will see shorts on the trail now, you still won't see bare legs.

All of the above, and much more, can be purchased at Temple 1 in several henro supply stores. One store is just outside the temple compound, by the parking lot, another is located inside the Hondō, and there are a couple of stores outside the temple compound to the left of the Niōmon gate.