2019-04-05: Day 22 – Temples 57, 58, 59, 64, 63 & 62

The temple list might seem a bit out of order, but this is the order I did them in. After temple 59, I took the train to temple 64 and worked backwards. Tomorrow I will do the big climb to Temple 60 (which the Route Guide says takes at least 3 hours) and the final climb is a henro-korogashi, which means a hard climb up to 750 meters. Then back down the mountain to Temple 61.

Today’s theme is still cherry blossoms. There are so many of them and they are so beautiful.

This one had different shades of pink.

Along the way there were some fish kites flying on an elaborate flag pole.

At Temple 57, I took a photo of the Buddha footprints and some of the beautiful Japanese trees.

At Temple 58, there were no cherry blossoms, but a beautiful view of the city. Here are some couple of statues I took.

At Temple 59 you get to shake Kobo Daishi hand for good luck, which I did a couple of times.

I then took the train to temple 64 and worked back to Temple 62. While waiting at the train station, I met this Japanese woman that I saw yesterday and at Temple 59. I gave her a Canadian pin and ohenro badge. She really likes to talk to everyone and to me in Japanese. I tried to tell her ” my Japanese is not to good” and she chats away at me anyway. We exchanged nameslips. Her nameslips was red. I asked if this was her fifth time. She said ten times ( I think) , however, when she showed me her stamp book, it was almost completely with red ink. You see they only do the black script once and then get the red stamps each time you do the pilgrimage in the same book. It looked like more than ten, but probably got lost in my translation.

While on the train she chatted to the person next to her and pointed to me that there was snow on Mount Ishizuchi, that Bob and I climbed last time, but I don’t plan to do this time.

As I was walking from Temple 63 to 62, I ran into her, we smiled/chatted and she have me a high five.

At Temple 63 there are elephants at the entrance, which I haven’t seen at any other temple.

As well, there is the stone with the hole in it. The legend goes if you can walk from the main hall with your eyes closed saying your wish and get your Kobo Daishi walking stick thru the hole your wish will come true.

I tried it last time, but didn’t have time this time.

After I checked in to the hotel with an onsen, I went to the onsen and soaked my hot tired feet in the ice cold pool for about 20 minutes. It was like an ice pack on my feet and calves.

Today was mainly walking on pavement, sometimes smooth, but sometimes rough. On the ohenro Facebook page, there is always lots of discussion on what kind of shoe is best. I have found the Altra runners with maximum cushioning works best for me. I learned about the Altra trail running shoes from an American walker when I did the pilgrimage with Dara. Even though they are maximum cushioning, I could still feel the small stones from the rough pavement. Hence, it was nice to cool the feet down in the cold bath at the onsen.

A couple more cherry blossom pictures before I sign off, go for dinner at 6 pm and early to bed, as it will be a hard day tomorrow and breakfast is at 6:30 am.