The first temple I visited on the Shikoku Pilgrimage was #1 — 霊山寺 (Ryozen-ji).
We parked at a rather sketchy konbini nearby, because we weren’t sure about the parking situation at the temple. We hadn’t even left the parking lot when something caught my eye — it looked like a vending machine… maybe… Venturing closer, I discovered that it was a fresh egg vending machine! If we didn’t have a long day ahead of us, I would’ve bought some.
Turns out we didn’t have to worry about parking. There’s tons of it at the temple, probably because it’s a common starting point for people doing the pilgrimage. Inside the beautiful gate was a koi pond with some small figures in it,
an impressive pagoda,
a huge bell we took turns ringing,
and a temple with delicate lanterns hung from the ceiling.
On our way out, we stopped at the store connected to the complex. All the things you need to be a proper pilgrim were being sold, as well as stunning stamp books… which I bought… There is a page for each temple on the pilgrimage with its name, a picture, and some text in Japanese. On the opposite side is room for the stamp. Now I can have all my stamps for the pilgrimage in one place!
Date received: April 27th, 2019