Pilgrims who undertake the 1500 klm journey around Shikoku??recite the Heart Sutra twice at each temple. This sutra is one of??the most important statements in Shingon Buddhism. Shingon is an esoteric form of Buddhism and the fourth largest Buddhist sect in Japan. All Shingon Buddhists aspire to perform the pilgrimage around Shikou Island, begun by Kobo Daishi (Kukai), AD 774-834 who was founder of Shingon Buddhism. Shikoku is an island of trees and mountains set across the Inland Sea, and the smallest of the four main islands of Japan. It is divided into four Provinces, Awa, Tosa, Iyo and Sanuki. Each of these is given a different attribute along he road to spiritual awareness.