Today is transition day, as we transition from the peace and serenity of walking back to the hustle and bustle.
The Azumaya Ryokan we stayed at last night had the most wonderful older lady running it. She was so friendly. She had a sheet with English phrases she used. In the morning before leaving she asked for a hug and saw us on our way.
At breakfast she gave us each a bundle of stuff as osettai. It is the kindness and friendliness of the people of Shikoku that makes the pilgrimage special.
It was a cool clear sunny autumn morning as we headed out for Temple 88, the last temple. Along the way, I got to admire some of the beautiful Japanese gardens and shrines.
We visited the ohenro museum and received our certificate and pin (along with osettai of tea and snacks). Here is a photo of one of the displays.
We were surprised to see lots of tables set up and many people registering for like a running marathon but with ohenro jackets on. Turned out today is Japanese national cultural holiday and they were all walking to Temple 88.
We decided to do the old henro route and left before the many people left, but they ended up catching up to us. Needless to say there were lots of people at Temple 88. So different from when we would arrive at a temple at 7 or 8 am and be the only ones there, except for the sounds of the birds singing or water running. Hence, it was a transition back to the world of lots of people.
When I arrived at the Temple, I lit my final candle to conclude my pilgrimage and thanked the many people who have followed me in my journey by reading my blog. Thanks for all the encouraging comments and thanks to my mom and Auntie Laura for your daily words of encouragement. I know you liked the flower pictures I posted for you. I lit the final three incense sticks (which represents the past, present and future).
I noticed this lone ohenro figurine about two inches tall sitting on the bottom of a statue and thought even though we are on the journey of life alone sometimes, I was not alone on this pilgrimage with all the wonderful people I have met on my journey.
It was interesting to see the many locals with their families enjoying the temple and the bus tour pilgrims getting their final group photo taken at Temple 88.
There was a beautiful tree at the temple that had turned it’s fall colors and was spectacular.
There were many statues as well at the temple.
We then went for a late lunch. I thought it was interesting to see the sakura (cherry blossom) in my soup as a fancy eatable addition.
We then headed off to check into the Yasokubo minshuku and had a nice bath, did laundry and had a wonderful dinner. The 84 year old grandmother is still there and loves to interact and tell stories to the ohenros. If you finished your pilgrimage, you were served red rice in honour of your completion.
Tomorrow breakfast is planned for 6 am and then the minshuko owner will drive us to catch the 7 am bus to the Shido train station. We will take the train back to the Bando train station and walk to Temple 1, where we started our pilgrimage to complete the circuit. There we will add our completion date to the log book.
Then it will be off to Tokashima to start my next adventure and visit Starbucks where I can have a matcha (green tea) latte grande hoto.
3 thoughts on “Thursday, November 3, 2016 – Temple 88 (Okuboji)”
CONGRATULATIONS ARNIE AND BOB ON COMPLETING THE PILGRIMAGE!!! I AM GLAD THAT ALL WENT WELL FOR YOU AND THAT YOU HAVE BEEN KEPT SAFE ALL OF THIS TIME; THANK YOU FOR THE WONDERFUL MEMORIES THAT YOU HAVE SHARED ALL ALONG THE WAY… ALL BEST WISHES AS YOU COMPLETE YOUR JOURNEY BACK TO TEMPLE #1.
ALL GOOD WISHES FROM CANADA
I am so pleased that you have both made it to Temple 88 ! Very well done and thank you for sharing the details of your journey. Take care and enjoy celebrating the completion of the circle at Temple 1. Liz xx
The Azumaya Ryokan you both stay in the last night had a older lady who seen very nice,and could speak English,all the beautiful flower gardens are well look after.It was nice watching all the many locals people with their family enjoying the 88 Temple and the bus tour pilgrims getting their final group photo taken at Temple 88.There was so many beautiful Statues in Temple 88.It was nice you and Bob made it to Temple 88. You both take care and enjoy celebrating the completion of the circle at Temple 1 love Mom.