So, now you are ready to start your pilgrimage. That is marvellous. But where do you start? Most people will start here, of course, at number 1! But you can really start anywhere on the Shikoku pilgrimage. The route is a circle, so whenever you start you just head out, and then when the time comes, you close the circle. And completed, you travel out to Mt. Koya to pay respects to Koubou Daishi there.
This temple does not have so much of a folkloric element to it, other than it being the start line for the great trail ahead of you. There are orientation sessions offered here at the temple, so if you are interested you can check there for when they are held.
Also, you can purchase all the pilgrim gear you need to start the journey. When I was there last they had sizes for larger people too, as they see a lot of different people coming through. There is some good advice out there in terms of how to assemble and put together all of your equipment to ensure protection for things needing care, and adjustments to make your walk smooth and friction free. You’ve got a lot of miles to go before you sleep, so prepare body and soul accordingly.
Take a deep breath. Now jump in.