Broadcast on September 5, 2017
Available until September 5, 2019
For hundreds of years, pilgrims have made their way to the hills of Chichibu, northwest of Tokyo, to follow an ancient pilgrimage route. Wearing special pure white tunics, they visit 34 Buddhist temples in the area that are dedicated to the Bodhisattva Kannon.
On this episode of Journeys in Japan, Estella Mak returns to Chichibu to complete the pilgrimage she began in spring. Accompanied by the same local guide as last time, she visits the 28th pilgrimage temple, Hashidate-do, then moves to the 34th and final temple, Suisen-ji. Before heading to the final temple, Estella observes a very unusual local celebration, called the Ryusei Festival. She discovers that Chichibu has a culture, tradition and lifestyle that is unique to the area, and that the local people are devoted to keeping the tradition alive.