Tokushima Roads of Shikoku

Shosan-ji Temple Valley Pilgrimage Route

Shosan-ji Temple Valley Pilgrimage Route

As you enter the mountain behind Fujiidera Temple (temple No. 11), you will see a moss-covered pilgrimage path continuing along the valley. The slope will gradually become steeper, and you will be able to see a sweeping view of the cityscape on the northern bank of the Yoshino River and the Sanuki Mountains below. As you reach Chodo-an, the mountain road becomes smoother, and the mountain village looks small. A mountain path with a few ups and downs will lead you to Ryusui-an, a secluded spot where you can quench your thirst with some cool valley water. The trail continues along a quiet mountain path where you can hear nothing but the sounds of small birds such as the brown-eared bulbul and Japanese white-eye. As you walk along the ridgeline, large cedar trees appear out of nowhere, and you will see a huge statue of Daishi at Joren-an (Ipponsugi-an). The avenue of cedar trees around the Shosan-ji Temple (temple No. 12) gate will give you an illusion of being in a deep mountain valley.

Shosan-ji Temple Valley Pilgrimage Route(15.6Km)


Spots to photograph

Statue of Kobo Daishi at Joren-an (Ipponsugi-an)

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

    Located halfway between the Fujiidera Temple and Shosan-ji Temple, this Buddhist shrine has a rest area where you can alleviate your fatigue from hiking along the long mountain trail.
    Legend has it that when Kobo Daishi visited this area, to quench his thirst, he poked a rock with a willow cane, and water gushed out, hence the name "Ryu no Sui (Willow Water)."

  • 2
    Joren-an (Ipponsugi-an)

    Located on a mountain pass at an elevation of 730 m, the shrine is also known as Joren-an. There is a statue of Kobo Daishi and the famous cedar tree that tells the story of his pilgrimage on the shrine premises.
    The giant cedar tree is called "Souchi-no-ipponsugi" and is said to have been planted by Kobo Daishi himself. The circumference of the tree trunk is 7.7 m, its canopy measures 16.1 m from east to west and 14.8 m from north to south, and its height is about 25 m. The shape of the tree is very good, and it stands 3 m above ground with several branches growing from its trunk. It is also designated as a natural monument by the Prefecture.
    The bronze statue of Kobo Daishi under the cedar tree and the 42 stone steps were built by Ikutaro Kawachi from Kyoto City in Taisho 15 (1926).

  • 3
    Shosan-ji Temple

    This is temple no. 12 out of the 88 temples in the Shikoku Pilgrimage and is located at an altitude of about 700 meters, near Station 8 on Shozanjiyama. Several temples in the Shikoku Pilgrimage are considered to be in a "Henro Korogashi (slope so steep that pilgrims may roll down it)" section of the route and the Shosan-ji Temple is one of them. Since ancient times, it has been a "sacred place for ascetic practices" where pilgrims trekked up steep slopes. The temple is surrounded by old cedar trees, and you can feel the solemnity as you climb the stairs and enter the main gate.
    There are 40 cedar trees around the main gate, 15 trees to the southwest of the main temple, and over 100 giant cedar trees along the path from the main temple to the inner shrine, giving the site the solemnity of a sacred place.

  • 4
    Emon Saburo Joshin-an

    This shrine was built about 1.6 km down from Shosan-ji Temple. Saburo Emon is said to be the first person to embark on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Saburo Emon, a wealthy farmer from the Kono family that governed the Iyo province, followed Kobo Daishi on a pilgrimage to apologize for his wrongdoings towards him. It is said that he fell ill in this area on his 21st pilgrimage. The legend of this journey is widely known as the beginning of the Shikoku Pilgrimage.
    The name "Joshin" comes from the tale that a large cedar tree grew from Emon Saburo's walking cane that was erected to mark his grave.

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