When preparing for the Shikoku pilgrimage (and earlier, when hiking the Kumano Kodo) I stumbled upon a gap in my personal development: I never thoroughly studied local culture, let alone learned some Japanese words. I learned some along the trail and added some more words on the list, reading the amazing “Tales of a summer henro” by Craig McLachlan. So here are some essential Japanese words for hiking in Japan.
This is one of my posts on planning and preparing for hiking trips. Be sure to read the other posts or more essential words for hikes in other parts of the world.
|Arigato gozaimas||Thank you very much|
|Atsu desu ne||Hot, isn’t it (perfect conversation starter)|
|Dogyo ninin||“We go together” (mantra for the Shikoku trail – pretty much like Liverpool’s “you never walk alone”)|
|Fuda||Paper name slip, used on the Shikoku trail|
|Henro||Pilgrim (with henro michi being pilgrim trail – mostly applicable to Shikoku, not so much Kumano Kodo)|
|Minshuku||A small inn or pension|
|Namu Daishi Henjo Kongo||Homage to the Saint (Kobodashi, the Buddhist monk founder of the trail) – to be chanted in the temples|
|Nojuku||Sleeping outside (in contrast to in a minshuku or ryokan)|
|Nokyo||Temple seal as collected in an album (nokyocho) by henro, signed in a special temple office (nokyojo)|
|Ohao gozaimasu||Good morning|
|Shukubo||Temple lodging house|
|Settai||An offering to henro, often in the form of food, drinks or even money. People often offer settai when they can not do the pilgrimage themselves.|
Please let me know if you have other Japanese words to add.