Ehime Roads of Shikoku

Road to Yokomine Temple: Shikoku’s Most Difficult Path

Road to Yokomine Temple: Shikoku's Most Difficult Path

This is the most difficult 9.5 km long route to Yokomine-ji Temple, which is 750 m above sea level and the third highest altitude among 88 shrines. The elevation gradually rises until long straight stairway to the gate of Yokomineji Temple comes in the sight. Standing at the temple entrance, visitors feel the joy of conquering the most difficult part of the trail.

Road to Yokomine Temple: Shikoku's Most Difficult Path(9.5km)


Spots to photograph

Yokomineji Temple (Sanmon)

If you wish to receive a certificate, please take a photo that includes yourself at the designated photo point for each course.

Nearby sightseeing spots

  • 1
    Ooto intersection

    The starting point is the Ooto intersection at the intersection of National Route 11 and the Ishizuchi Tanbara Line. A 7.3 km paved road leads to the Yunami Rest Station and then 2.2 km of unpaved mountain road with a steep staircase at a height of approximately 500 meters. There are no places to restock your supplies other than water in the 20 km stretch between this point and the Ooto intersection, including the next route to Kouenji Temple No. 61. The route goes along the Myodani (Taetani) River to Yokomineji Temple. The mountain road from the Yunami Rest Station may get unsafe when the water level is high at the downstream. You may want to keep an eye on weather before visiting.

  • 2
    Ishizuchi Shrine

    A 9.5-meter-high concrete lantern built inside the shrine during its completion in 1931 has been kept lit for more than 90 years. This street was called "Oyamado" (mountain road) at the western trailhead of Mt. Ishizuchi in the old days, and pilgrims who wanted to visit Mt. Ishizuchi and Yokomine Temple would walk by this lantern in the middle of the night. The lantern was designated as national registered tangible cultural property in 2001.

  • 3
    Yuunami Rest Station

    Yuunami Rest Station arrives after a short walk straight down the paved prefectural road. it has facilities including parking lot (to accommodate about 10 cars), a comfortable restroom, a pavilion, and benches that were renovated in 2018, as well as a spring water fetching station at the foot of the stairs. You have to buckle up for hilly road ahead.

  • 4
    National Historic Site Iyo Pilgrimage Road, Yokomine Temple Road

    1.7 km stretch from the stairs next to the Yunami Resting Area to Yokomine Temple was designated as the Yokomine Temple Road, a National Historic Site Iyo Henro Road as of October 3, 2016. You can find stone markers at every 109 m to indicate the distance to Yokomine Temple. The Yokomine Temple Road has been the heart of Ishizuchi Shukendo since ancient times and had close religious association with the Ishizuchi mountain beliefs. The designated National Historic Site has been recognized as having extremely high cultural asset value, because of the well-preserved old road, and the remains of stones.

  • 5
    Myounotanigawa River

    This route follows the Myounotanigawa River. This area is near the headwaters of the Myounotanigawa River, with a quaint path brimming with the sound of rushing water, ferns on the mountains, and the green of moss on the rocks.

  • 6
    The most difficult place in Shikoku: Henro korogashi

    Steep unending hills continue after passing the headwaters of the Taetani River. The path appears as though carved out of the ground. It's a true challenge, and visitors realize this is a path of ascetic practice. A forest road was opened in 1984, and now it's accessible by car to the parking lot 500 meters away from the temple grounds. This makes us wonder about the hardships endured by people in the past while climbing the road every day.

  • 7
    Furubou Rest Station

    Furubou Rest Station provides benches. It's only 600 m away from Yokomine Temple. Visitors are encouraged to take a well-deserved rest here before heading out. Last sprint from here leads to the gate of Yokomine Temple, where you conquer the pilgrim's loop.

  • 8
    Fudasho Komineji Temple No. 60

    Yokomine Temple No. 60 is famous for its pilgrimages, as well as for its rhododendron flowers. More than 500 rhododendrons bloom from early to mid-May creating a pink hue in the temple grounds. The Yokomine Temple Ground has been added to the National Historic Site Iyo Pilgrim Path on October 13, 2017.

Special System to recognize The Roads of Shikoku travelers

Travelers who have completed a prefectural route
Under this system, a certificate is issued to everyone who has completed all the routes of the The Roads of Shikoku on foot in a single prefecture.
If you wish to receive this certificate, please take a photo of yourself (the applicant) at the designated photo checkpoints (the mark for photo checkpoints) along each route. After gathering the required photos for all the routes, write a simple comment on your thoughts regarding the route on each photo as well as your address, full name, age, and the dates on which the photos along the route were taken, and submit them to the representative for the prefecture where the route is found.
After reviewing your application, we will issue you a certificate for having completed the prefectural course.
Travelers who have completed all routes in Shikoku
If you have completed all the routes in the four prefectures of Shikoku, please submit your certificate for each of the four prefectures to the representative for any prefecture.
After reviewing your application, we will issue you a certificate for having completed all routes in Shikoku.

Click here to contact the representative for each prefecture

Ehime Prefecture / Kagawa Prefecture / Tokushima Prefecture / Kochi Prefecture