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Travel & Leisure

Japan's ancient Shikoku Henro pilgrimage wins over Canadian writer

Author depicts culture spanning 1,200 years in tale of 1,400-km journey

Pilgrims clad in white and with their distinctive walking sticks walk part of the 1,400-km Shikoku Henro in 2006.   © Reuters

TAKAMATSU, Japan -- The Shikoku Henro pilgrimage, a 1,200-year-old tradition famous within Japan, is attracting international fans.

The journey traces the path of Kukai, a Buddhist monk who trained on the island of Shikoku and is said to have achieved enlightenment there. He also founded the Shingon school of Buddhism -- still active in Japan today -- in the 9th century.

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