Q & A
I am not a Buddhist. Is it OK for me to make the Saigoku 33 Kannon pilgrimage?
No problem, but, you should respect the following three: deities in Buddhism, teachings of Buddhism, and people who make the Saigoku 33 Kannon pilgrimage.
What is necessary before I start to make the Saigoku 33 Kannon pilgrimage?
A book called Goshuin-cho or Nokyo-cho in Japanese is necessary for collecting vermilion seals. You can buy it at the temples of the Saigoku 33 Kannon pilgrimage or on the Internet. Note that you should buy designated Goshuin-cho for the Saigoku 33 Kannon pilgrimage.
I have heard there are extra three temples called bangai in addition to the 33 temples. Could you tell me the reason?
There are two important men on the Saigoku 33 Kannon pilgrimage: Saint Tokudo and Cloistered Emperor Kazan. Tokudo inaugurated the Saigoku 33 Kannon pilgrimage in 718. However, the pilgrimage was not accepted because people did not take Tokudo at his word. About 270 years later, Kazan made the Saigoku 33 Kannon pilgrimage. It helped people accept the pilgrimage. That is, Tokudo is the founder and Kazan is the reviver. Therefore, three temples related to Tokudo or Kazan are recommended to be visited.