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Get Energized at Five Select Power Spots in Shikoku

"Power spots" are places that many people visit in search of better fortune and healing. Shikoku has long been a place for ascetic practices through the Shikoku Henro pilgrimage, and is also full of nature. It has many magical spots. Here are five destinations that are particularly popular.

1. Kannon-ji, Mt. Shippo

Shikoku Henro is a pilgrimage around 88 temples associated with the Buddhist monk, Kobo Daishi (Kukai), who founded the Shingon Sect of Buddhism. From ancient times, people have made this pilgrimage as a part of their training or to pray for better fortune. This temple in the western part of Kagawa is the 69th site of the pilgrimage. The main hall, referred to as the Kondo (Golden Hall), was reconstructed in 1525 and is designated an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government. The 68th site, Jinne-in, is on the same grounds. In Kotohiki Park near the temple, there is a huge Zenigata suna-e (coin-shaped sand drawing) of a copper coin from the Edo period (1603-1868). This is considered to be a power spot that will improve financial prospects, so be sure to stop by.

1. Kannon-ji, Mt. Shippo

1-2-7 Yahata-cho, Kannonji-shi, Kagawa

2. Oboke

This is a gorge in western Tokushima. The gorge that was created by erosion of crystalline schist​ has an amazing appearance as if consisting of tall, sharp marble statues. There are activities. such as rafting and boating, that peak in the summertime, so you can feel the power of the great nature through your entire body. In addition, there are many ghost stories that have been handed down in Yamashiro-cho, where the gorge is. There is a statue of Konaki Jijii, famous from the comic series, GeGeGe no Kitaro, as well as a haunted house with exhibits of local ghosts, so once you've had your fill of nature, go take a look at the spots related to ghost stories.

2. Oboke

Yamashiro-cho Shigezane, Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima

3. Giant Rocks of Mt. Tateishi

Mt. Tateishi on Ikina Island, which is located in the middle of numerous islands of various sizes in the Seto Inland Sea, has a group of ancient giant rocks. The giant rocks around the summit, which are arranged as if lying on top of each other, is said to have been the stage of ancient religious rituals. The rocks are veiled in the mystery of the ancients as it is still not known who brought them together or why, so it has a dramatic atmosphere. At the foot of the mountain, there is a Japanese garden called Sanshu-en with a giant rock that is approximately 7m high and 20m in circumference. This rock is thought to be from the Yayoi period (about 300 BC to 200 AD).

3. Giant Rocks of Mt. Tateishi

Ikina, Kamijima-cho, Ochi-gun, Ehime

4. Tojin Spoiled Field Ruins

Cape Ashizuri in Kochi is known to be the southernmost cape of Shikoku. This is an archaeological site nearby with many large stones that are 6m to 7m high considered to be one of the world's largest stone circles. It presents a strange landscape that does not seem to be man-made. It is still not clear what this site was used for, even though many stone implements and potsherds have been uncovered that are known to have been used from the Jomon period (about 14 thousand years ago to 300 BC) to the Yayoi period.

4. Tojin Spoiled Field Ruins

977 Matsuo, Tosashimizu-shi, Kochi

5. Zentsuji Temple

This is the 75th site on the Shikoku Henro pilgrimage. It is the birthplace of Kobo Daishi, the head temple of the Shingonshu Zentsuji sect and one of the three holy sites linked to Kobo Daishi. The 45,000-square-meter grounds is divided into the Eastern temple, called the Garan, and the Western temple, called the Tanjo-in, and has many attractions including the 45m-high five-story pagoda made entirely of Japanese zelkova. At this temple, you can participate in Shakyo classes where you learn to copy sutras, as well as in classes to learn how to draw Buddhist pictures, and also stay overnight, so why not register if you are interested in learning about Buddhism?

5. Zentsuji Temple

3-3-1 Zentsuji-cho, Zentsuji-shi, Kagawa

There are many more "power spots" in Shikoku, including those that are famous for the Shikoku Henro pilgrimage. When traveling in Shikoku, please consider visiting some of these.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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