Okuboji (大窪寺) is the 88th temple of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. It is located in Kagawa Prefecture in Shikoku, Japan. As the final temple of the pilgrimage, it is the temple where a pilgrim’s wishes are finally fulfilled after a long and arduous journey around the island of Shikoku. At the temple shop, you can purchase a stamped scroll certifying the completion of this spiritual venture.
Okuboji has two main gates. The wooden Niten Gate can be reached by stone steps located on the south side. The more modern concrete Nio Gate is located on the west side. The south gate leads straight to the Main Hall, a pagoda, and the temple office. The west gate is closer to the Daishi Hall. Daishi is an alternative name for Kukai (空海), the Buddhist whom the Shikoku Pilgrimage is based on. Next to the Daishi Hall, you will find an eternal flame serving as a memorial to the atomic bombings in World War II.
After a long journey filled with memories and possibly life-altering events, pilgrims may feel quite sentimental and be overwhelmed by positive emotions. You will find many walking staffs and some umbrellas in a designated area within the temple, left behind by pilgrims after completing their pilgrimage here. Many find the act of leaving behind your staff to be quite a bittersweet farewell.
There is a soba (buckwheat noodle) shop, Yasoba-an, at the entrance to the temple. It is a great spot to reward yourself with noodles made from locally produced flour and fresh vegetables, and holy water from the temple.