Kannon is the most well known and popular Buddha in Japan. Therefore, there are many Kannon pilgrimages. The Saikoku Kannon pilgrimage has the longest history, and is the most popular. It consists of 33 temples where the principal Buddha statue is Kannon. All of the 33 temples are located in the Kansai area. This is because the Kansai area was the center of Japan when the Kannon pilgrimage was formed.
It is difficult for people who live outside the Kansai area to take the Saikoku Kannon pilgrimage. Thus, copies of the Saikoku Kannon pilgrimage were made in each area. For example, the Bandou Kannon pilgrimage was made in the Kanto area.
The Buso Kannon pilgrimage is one of the copies. Buso means Musashi and Sagami that are the old name of near Tokyo. Though the statue of Kannon is closed in each temple of the Buso Kannon pilgrimage, it is opened every 12 years. This is the year. That is, the statue of Kannon is opened during this April.
I go to the temples of the Buso Kannon pilgrimage when I have a free time. Today, I visited 11 temples. I felt that a good old tradition is alive. We, Japanese people must keep the tradition.