Pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. It's usually done by a journey to a shrine or another location of importance to their belief and/or faith. But it could also be a metaphorical journey into their own beliefs.
Tsubasa does go into more detail about him pilgirmage at Shrines in this Oshabeya episode. He also discusses it in a little bit of detail when visiting Shrines in Episode 6 of 2.5D Danshi Onshi TV (with Suzuki Hiroki as MC) where he guest stars in the final episode and shows us what he does on his days off!
When I was a quarian on Pilgirmage, I used to walk by that sushi place and watch the fish through the window. I knew they would never let me inside, but I told myself, someday, when I’ve proven my worth to the galaxy, I’ll go there for dinner… And then, you broke their floor.
Periodically I have posted profiles of people for whom walking is a spiritual act. For many PCT hikers, the experience of walking the trail is a pilgrimage. And as 19th Century writer and editorialist Ambrose Bierce observed, a pilgrim is “a traveler that is taken seriously.”
The travels of both modern and historic figures such as Matsuo Basho, Werner Herzog, William Wordsworth, and John Muir have been detailed in past posts (drawn extensively from Paul Theroux’s writings). Author Peter Matthiessen joins the list. A committed walker, he has traveled and written about Asia, New Guinea, Africa, and Antarctica.
His classic book (if you haven’t read it, you should) The Snow Leopard is one of the great accounts of someone “paying respects to a mountain” [the literal interpretation of the Chinese characters for pilgrimage].
“In late September of 1973,” Matthiessen explains, “I set out with GS [George Schaller] on a journey to the Crystal Mountain, walking west under Annapurna and north along the Kali Gandaki River, then turning west and north again, around the Dhaulagiri peaks and across the Kanjiroba, two hundred and fifty miles or more to the Land of Dolpo, on the Tibetan Plateau.”
The snow leopard, the “most beautiful of the great cats”, had been sighted by only two Westerners in the previous twenty-five years. To get a glimpse of one of these “near-mythic” beasts was the formal reason for the trip, but in effect this is Matthiessen’s pilgrimage: a search for healing after the death of his wife, a search for the sources of Buddhism, and a contemplation of a landscape regarded as holy by the Nepalese who live in the region.
Matthiessen and Schaller rise higher and higher into the mountains, suffering from the cold and the altitude and the difficult trail, creeping on narrow traverses above deep and precipitous valleys. Such obstacles are inevitable, as Matthiessen writes: “Tibetans say that obstacles in a hard journey, such as hailstones, wind, and unrelenting rains, are the work of demons, anxious to test the sincerity of the pilgrims and eliminate the fainthearted among them.”
Toward the end of the book, the snow leopard unglimpsed, exhausted but uplifted, Matthiessen writes: “I lower my gaze from the snow peaks to the glistening thorns, the snow patches, the lichens. Though I am blind to it, the Truth is near …” It is through this journey that Matthiessen discovered his own peace of mind.
Not all PCT hikers start as searchers, but almost all end up as pilgrims. The trail has a way of posing questions you did not know needed to be answered when you were living the routinized life of a student, parent, or worker. And the answers are just as often found in the glistening thorns, the snow patches, and the lichens.