Reasons for launching ohenro-map

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Pilgrimage start on a road bike

the fall of 2019, I started a pilgrimage trip on a road bike. I decided to take a long-distance bus from Hiroshima City to Tokushima Prefecture.

After arriving in Tokushima City, the pilgrimage will begin the next day. I left the hotel in white clothes I bought online, with books and merchandise in my bag. I went smoothly from the 1st temple to the 11th temple without any pain. As I passed near the barn, I could smell the cow dung and enjoy the calm atmosphere. The exhilaration of riding a bicycle through the rice fields. Every time you visit a temple, you will get a red stamp. I thought the pilgrimage was perfect for a bicycle.

Difficult ①  It is troublesome to see the map

While biking around the pilgrimage, I faced some difficulties. I used the map app (Google Maps) on my smartphone to go around from the first temple in order, but I can’t reach the next temple without a map. Even if there are road signs, there are few signs that point to temples, and if you do not look at the map, you will soon get lost.

I opened Google map many times to see the location of the temple I was aiming for. What I found inconvenient while checking was that (1) the location displayed on the map after searching once, but the search information disappears when the app is deleted, and you have to search again, (2) in the correct route and direction. It was hard to tell if they were heading (a new route is shown, but the originally searched route has disappeared).

The weakness of smartphones is battery consumption. People who pilgrimage on foot or by bicycle use the smartphone app instead of the car navigation system, but if the app is always running, the battery will be consumed faster. As a result, users may repeatedly take actions to launch their smartphone and see the map application.

However, the map app loses its search history after a period of time, so you’ll have to search for your destination again.

Difficult ② I don’t know how to get on the bus

It went smoothly from the 1st temple and finished the 11th temple after 10 am on the 2nd day. Next is the 12th temple. There is a route up a steep mountain road to get from the 11th temple to the 12th temple. However, this mountain road took about 6 hours and it seemed difficult to ride a bicycle. However, if you put your bike on the 11th temple and head for the 12th temple, going to the 13th temple is a detour.

I surfed the internet looking for another route from the 11th temple to the 12th temple. To my surprise, I took a train to Tokushima station, took a bus from Tokushima station to the foot of the mountain, and found a route to walk from there (about 4 hours).

However, I do not know the location of the bus stop or the timetable of the bus. There is no page on the net where people who do not live in the area can display the bus stop and timetable of the local bus on the screen of their smartphone.

After all, I waited for more than an hour at Tokushima station and finally took a local bus to the vicinity of the 12th temple.

Difficult ③  Accommodation and food costs are high

From the 1st temple to the 11th temple, we used a business hotel in Tokushima City as an accommodation facility. The hotel rate is JPY 4,500 per night. There is no burden for 2 to 3 nights, but you need to go around Shikoku for 1100 km and walk for 45 to 55 nights. You also need a lot of food expenses.

Difficulty of foreigners going around pilgrimage

I met many foreigners on my pilgrimage trip in 2019. Most foreigners were walking around. A Taiwanese gentleman said, “I have plenty of time to retire from the Air Force and make a pilgrimage. When I’m at work, I can’t take a long vacation, so I can’t go on a pilgrimage.” .. If you pilgrimage on foot, it will take more than 45 days. What he says is correct.

Most of the foreigners who go around the pilgrimage go around on foot. Not because I like walking. Foreigners know no other way than walking. I don’t know how to use public transportation.

To hack the pilgrimage …

Combining the difficulty of pilgrimage that I noticed with the difficulty of pilgrimage for foreigners was a sudden inspiration. “Well, if foreigners who don’t understand Japanese can easily get information on trains and buses by looking at the map of the pilgrimage, the number of days required for the pilgrimage will definitely be reduced. The number of days and costs will be significantly reduced. If foreigners know this fact, more foreigners will pilgrimage. “

ohenro-map creates a page where even foreigners can go around the pilgrimage by train or bus.

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