Friday, November 4, 2016 – Back to Temple 1 (Ryozenji)

It was with mixed feelings when I arrived back at Temple 1. Breakfast was at 6 am, and the owner of the minshuko drove us to catch the 7 am bus to the Shido train station. From there, we took the train back to Bando station and walked to Temple 1. There was a beautiful sunrise to start the day as we departed for the bus.

I wore the hachimaki (Japanese headband) that the monk gave me as osettai when she stamped my book the first day. I entered the completion date in the book at Temple 1 and went to the monk and thanked her for giving me the hachimaki. I told her that I wore it the entire pilgrimage to keep the sweat off my forehead. She asked if I would like a special stamp at the back of the book. I said yes and she said she wrote congratulations from the heart (which was her best interpretation).

We were served tea, given osettai and a pamphlet on Koyasan in English. It was a nice simple final celebration and bring closure to the pilgrimage.

Just as I was leaving, I met a couple from Australia who started the end of August and were camping the entire two months. They told me some interesting stories of dealing with the typhoons and hiking some interesting trails. They to had come back to Temple 1 to complete the pilgrimage.

We then celebrated by having an ice cream at the shop next to the Temple.

 The only photo at the temple I took was tge hanging strings of all the colorful peace cranes.

On the way back to the Bando station, we were called in for tea and received our last act of osettai (tea, snack, towel, handkerchief, small bag). Here is a picture of our most wonderful osettai hosts.

As I head off to Osaka tomorrow, I will take the next few days to reflect on my pilgrimage experience and for the many blessings and good fortunes I had along the way. I am thankful for everyone I met along the way. As I passed the vending machine at the Tokashima train station, there was my hot Royal Milk Tea, I purchased early the first morning on our way to Bando train station. The vending machines were a life saver with my tea, Pocari Sweat, Match, vitamin  drinks.

Thanks once again everyone for reading my blog and I will add entries when possible of my remaining travels in Japan.

As they say, one chapter ends and a new one starts.

9 thoughts on “Friday, November 4, 2016 – Back to Temple 1 (Ryozenji)

  1. Dear Arnie and Bob
    And Blessings from the heart from Ottawa! So beautiful was your last stamp…
    Safe journey in Japan and back home…


  2. Congratulations! and thank you for letting me share your journey – Your journal was amazing and the pictures added such a great dimension so we knew exactly what you were describing. I can’t imagine writing like that after such long full hard days. This is probably something I will never even attempt so I am so grateful to follow your footsteps. Safe journey home.


  3. I’ve been following along and just a note of thanks for letting me in on your journey. Give my regards to Bob and see you when you return.


  4. Hello! I found your website by the recommendation of Jasbir. I’ve been considering doing the pilgrimage alone probably next year for a month either in February or March. I was worried if this was even possible for me because I can’t walk the entire way because I have an old leg injury (broken gastrocnemius) so my knee gets tired often. It’s been doing better now, but I don’t want to be too crazy to walk the whole route, so I wanted to use many trains and many bus. Still with some walking of course. I really enjoyed reading your blog. It makes me feel hopeful and a bit more confident to actually do it.

    God Bless! ^_^


  5. Hello Mr. Arnold and Mr. Bob,
    I’ve just finished reading your very interesting Blog. It provided me very good advices for transportation as well as for lodging.
    I plan to do the pilgrimage Spring 2019 and walk approx 700 km over all.
    Enjoy Life and safe travelling.
    Manon from Montreal, QC, Canada


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