Shikoku Pilgrimage Costs & Calculator (UPDATED 2022)
Cost Calculator and Budget Sheet
Get started with our free cost calculator and budgeting tools (last updated with 2022 prices).
When will you begin your pilgrimage?RequiredMany hotels and inns increase their prices during the “busy” seasons of Spring and Autumn.When is the best time for the Shikoku Pilgrimage?
For about how many days will you be on pilgrimage?RequiredIt takes a walking pilgrim an average of 45 days to visit all 88 temples on foot. This translates to roughly 32km (20mi) of walking per day.If you plan on visiting bekkaku temples or doing the pilgrimage in reverse, plan for a few more days.
How to Budget for the Shikoku Pilgrimage
The amount each pilgrim spends on their journey can vary greatly. Here are a few significant considerations:
- Will you walk, bike, drive, hire a taxi, or do the pilgrimage by bus?
- For how many days will you be on pilgrimage? How many kilometers will you go per day?
- How often will you camp out or stay at free lodgings?
- Quality of food: Will you eat often at minshuku or ryokan? Will you buy food from the convenience store?
- What pilgrim gear will you buy?
- How much will you spend at temples? Will you make donations and collect pilgrim stamps?
- Will you buy cellular or data service instead of relying on maps and telephone booths?
- Will you travel to points of interest or buy souvenirs along the way?
- What are your ATM fees and currency conversion rates when you withdraw cash?
Expense Estimates by Category
Pilgrim Clothing & Supplies
Wifi & Cellular Service
ATMs & Cards
Credit cards won’t get you very far in Japan - many businesses don’t accept them as payment. Some convenience stores will accept credit cards, but only for purchases over a certain amount.
Every minshuku and ryokan I stayed at only accepted cash. People in Japan are accustomed to carrying around larger amounts of cash than most Americans, Europeans, or other Asians. I started the pilgrimage carrying about ¥80,000 (worth about $780 USD at the time) and an international ATM card, then withdrew cash whenever I began to run out at post office ATMs.
ATMs and ATM Fees
Most of the pilgrimage path is rural and suburban, so ATMs can be hard to come by. Luckily, ATMs at 7-11s and post offices are able to process foreign bank and debit cards!
Restrictions and fees can vary widely depending on the ATM being used and the origin bank account where your funds are located. 7-11, for example, limits withdrawals to ¥100,000 each day. If you’d prefer to withdraw funds at post offices, you can check online to see if they will accept your card. But be forewarned: just because a post office worked for other foreigners does not mean it will work for you.
My card only works at ATMs that accept UnionPay, so most of the convenience stores I came across in Japan did not work for me. You will also have to check with your bank to see how much you can withdraw each day. Most modern ATMs in Japan can display English as well as other common languages.
Cashing traveler’s checks in Shikoku is not very practical. While bigger banks in cities will probably be able to cash them, smaller banks probably won’t (which make up the majority of branches in Shikoku).