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  3. Shikoku Pilgrims’ Helpers (5) Pilgrimage Supplies Store: Mr. Asano

Shikoku Pilgrims’ Helpers (5) Pilgrimage Supplies Store: Mr. Asano

Located on the approach to Kirihata-ji, Temple 10 of the Shikoku Pilgrimage, Sumotoriya Asano Sohonten is known as one of the oldest pilgrimage goods and Buddhist altar fittings stores in Shikoku. This summer, the old private house across the street was renovated and the store portion was moved. The former store will be used as a workshop for mountaing (Techniques for making calligraphy and paintings into hanging scrolls), etc. The owner, Mr. Asano, is fluent in English, so you can shop for pilgrimage goods while consulting with him on various matters. Ms. Asano gave us an introduction to the store and a message for those who will be making the pilgrimage.

Satoshi Asano

My name is Satoshi Asano, the fifth-generation owner of SUMOTORIYA. After working for Japan National Tourism Organization for 13 years, including a stint in New York along the way, I returned to my hometown of Tokushima with my wife and children to take over the business from my parents.

SUMOTORIYA is located on the approach to Temple #10 “Kirihataji Temple”. We have specialized in varieties of Buddhist altar fittings as well as equipment and accessories for HENRO, and been in business for more than 130 years. We are confident with our large selections of products for pilgrimage and unbearable prices. I am also a certified first grade “scroll mounter” and “picture framer”. I make hanging scrolls and frames, so please feel free to contact me if you would like to have your 88 temples pilgrimage hanging scrolls mounted.

The name “SUMOTORIYA(Sumotori = Sumo wrestler)” was named by Isekichi Asano, the founder of the business, because he was a supporter of amateur Sumo wrestlers and local Sumo tournaments. Pilgrims are coming from all over the world today, and they know our store for the unique trade name as well as the sign with illustration of Sumo wrestler installed in front of the store.

I have registered my store as a tourist information center authorized by the Japan National Tourism Organization so that foreign pilgrims can walk the Shikoku pilgrimage route with peace of mind. We provide the same guidance and advice in English as we do to Japanese pilgrims.
We hope that we can continue to contribute to the improvement of the convenience of the foreign pilgrims and to help them discover the charms of the Shikoku Sacred Sites.

Here is my advice for those about to embark on the pilgrimage:

  •  Please prepare only the essential equipment for the pilgrimage until you reach Temple #10, which most pilgrims arrive around noon on the second day.
  • Once you arrive at the #10, make sure to have a full range of equipment! By the way, my store is conveniently located along the path to #10.
  • The #10 involves climbing 333 stone steps. I recommend leaving your heavy luggage at my store and proceeding to the temple with light belongings.

Come on in, even if you’re just here to browse! We love making new friends, and hey, who knows, you might find something you never knew you needed. Looking forward to meeting you!

SUMOTORIYA  https://www.sumotoriya.com E-mail: info@sumotoriya.com