Pilgrimage experience for international students

2017-1-17

On November 19 and December 10, members of the Tokushima Intercultural Caravan, an organization made up mainly of international students at institutions of higher education in Tokushima Prefecture, took part in a pilgrimage experience for foreign nationals organized by a Tokushima NPO.

On November 19, they walked to Yakuō-ji Temple (about 10 km from Kigi to Hiwasa) and from Ryōzen-ji to Jizō-ji (about 11 km) on December 10. Provided with white vestments, a monk’s stole, a sedge hat, and pilgrim’s staff, they chanted the Heart Sutra at each temple and learned from the pilgrimage guide how to worship by posting votive slips and so on. On both days, they walked among autumn leaves under a winter sky, receiving alms from local people and gaining valuable experience that can’t be had within the university campus. Through this activity, students come to understand the pilgrimage culture and help to spread it around the world as part of Japanese culture.

Participants on November 19: 11 people (4 from China, 2 from Vietnam, 1 each from Malawi, France, Taiwan, the Solomons, and Pakistan). A total of 17 people including foreign residents.

Participants on December 10: 16 people (10 from China, 2 from Taiwan and Vietnam, 1 each from Canada and the Philippines). A total of 21 people including foreign residents (UK, the Philippines and France) and Japanese.

 


Walking amid nature


Taking a break at Hiwasa


Receiving alms

 


Chanting at Yakuō-ji temple


Walking in line


Memories under the ginkgo

 


Satisfied expressions at Jizō-ji