Ryokan in Kagawa
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The Shukubo Iroha Kaikan
- Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, is famed as the location of a sacred pilgrimage known the Shikoku Henro and taking in some 88 Buddhist temples dotted around the island. Among the most significant of these many temples is Zentsu-ji in western Kagawa Prefecture: this is revered as the birthplace of the monk Kobo Daishi (774-835 AD, also known as Kukai and the founder of the Shingon school of Buddhism) whose followers established the pilgrimage after his passing. Zentsu-ji is not only deeply holy: in the Shukubo Iroha Kaikan it also provides a great place to stay the night. The Shukubo Iroha Kaikan The word shukubo has historically signified very simple lodgings, provided by a temple for pilgrims to stay the night before embarking on the next stage of their devout journey. Zentsu-ji’s status as the fountainhead of Shingon Buddhism however, and its significance on the 88-temple pilgrimage, has seen its own shukubo, the Iroha Kaikan, grow over the centuries to become essentially a hotel in its own right. In the present day it rivals minshuku guest houses for traditional Japanese atmosphere, and welcomes both the casual tourist and the pious pilgrim alike.The Shukubo Iroha Kaikan is located just a stone’s throw from the temple it was originally built to serve, and contains no less than 70 rooms over three floors, accommodating up to around 200 guests. As well as offering accommodation and food, it also houses its very own onsen (hot spring water) bath: a major attraction for the more secular visitor. The flat room rate of 6,100 yen per person per night, including two meals, also makes it a great option for budget-conscious travelers. The Shukubo Iroha Kaikan This being firmly traditional-style lodging, shoes are taken off at the entrance and deposited in an individual shoe box for the dedicated use of your room. In the lobby meanwhile, just in front of the check-in desk, you will notice rows of red cloth-draped benches that recall those used inside temples. Similarly the heavy, dark tones of the woods used here suggest the depth of the Buddhist worldview. The Shukubo Iroha Kaikan ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
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In case any english speakers ever end up in Onohara! I highly recommend a visit to this BathHouse. I come here mostly in summer and never miss the opportunity to drop by in the evening to wind down!
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Japan’s smallest prefecture, Kagawa, may take up just a small corner of Shikoku, but it has grown increasingly popular with the recognition of Naoshima, its "art island" in the Seto Inland Sea between Shikoku and Honshu. Just a stone’s throw from the islands, mainland Kagawa’s prefectural capital, Takamatsu, holds history in its castle ruins and its pride and joy, Ritsurin Garden, is known as one of the country’s best gardens.
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