` Japanese temple and pilgrim walking in a forest

 

One Step at a Time: Exploring the Shikoku Pilgrimage with John Lander

The Shikoku Pilgrimage is one of the most important pilgrimage routes in Japan. Connected by eighty-eight temples across the four prefectures of Shikoku, this 1,200 km trail is associated with Buddhist monk Kūkai (Kōbō Daishi), the founder of Shingon Buddhism.

The pilgrimage is undertaken for many reasons – to have a time of reflection away from everyday life, as a spiritual journey or as a healing period after a traumatic life event. Along the way, pilgrims will encounter ordinary Japanese people and experience the custom of o-settai, or charitable giving.

In this special talk, author and photographer John Lander will take us on a journey along the Shikoku Pilgrimage guiding us through the evocative images and stories he has been documenting for his latest publication The Shikoku Pilgrimage: Japan’s Sacred Trail. He will share fascinating details on the origin of the trail and what the pilgrimage means to the thousands who undertake it every year.

John Lander is a freelance author and photographer based near Kamakura, Japan. When he is not at home, he is often out and about on photography assignments at local events, festivals or indulging in his main passion: Japanese gardens. Japan has been his home for nearly 40 years. John’s photography has been featured in GEO, TIME Magazine, National Geographic, Travel+Leisure, Rough Guides and many others. His books, including The Shikoku Pilgrimage: Japan’s Sacred Trail, are available from Amazon.

If you have any questions, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email events@japansociety.org.uk

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