2019-04-08: Day 25 – Temples 66, 67, 68, 69 & 70

Last night I enjoyed staying at minshuku Okada. My Taiwainese/Japanese ohenro friend Noba was there, so I could get him to ask some questions in Japanese. Mr Okada is 90 years old. He doesn’t look a day over 60. He enjoys explaining after dinner how to navigate the trail.

The room is filled with postcards from around the world he received. He showed everyone the plaque I send him after my first ohenro. He also found my nameslips I left. He has a scrapbook of all the nameslips people leave. He is living life to the fullest and enjoys helping ohenros. It is his hobby and passion.

As well at dinner I was told there was one ohenro who was 79 and didn’t look 60. They said he did the ohenro 14 times. I was amazed and wondered how he was going to do the climb to Temple 66 is is the highest climb.

Breakfast was at 6 am, so we could get an early start on the climb up to Temple 66. I was packed and off at 6:30 am since I wanted to do up to Temple 70.

I headed out well before everyone else, and as I rested to catch my breath during the hard climb, who should appear, the 79 year old ohenro, just a trooping his way up and past me. When we got to Temple 66, I gave him a high five and asked if I could take his picture.

As you can see he doesn’t look 79. The lesson I learned from the two of them is keeping active after retirement and doing the things you love to do and makes you happy will mean all the world a difference. A simple lesson I know but one that I found reflected so well in these two.

On the way to Temple 66, they have new signs which I liked especially the English part “you can do it”.

It rained last night, however stopped when I left. It was beautiful to view the sun rays thru the trees as the mist was clearing.

As well, the water droplets from the trees would drip on your head. Reminded me of being in India and having hot oil dripped on your forehead at Dr Rao after the massage treatment. The cold water droplets felt good on my head. Maybe a new form of enlighment.

On the way up the trail there was a sign no NO 2, which I thought at first was no snakes by the picture, but laughed when I realized no NO 2 toilet use on the trail please is probably what it meant.

At the top was a nice congratulations sign.

It took me about 2 hours to do the climb, but enjoyed it. He are some other pictures from Temple 66.

I like the one of all the Buddhas.

When I got to Temple 67, there were hundreds of people, many dressed in black. I asked at the stamp office and they said it was a celebration of Buddha birthday (I think). He said there was free udoon, but I wanted to get to Temple 70, so thanked him and said I didn’t have enough time.

At Temple 68/69 (which are together) the gift shop had an outfit for ohenro cyclist, which I thought was interesting.

There was a hugh tree in the middle of Temple 68/69.

Today was a crueling 31 km, which I realize is too much. No blisters, but my calves and heal muscles are very sore. Tommorow I will take a train part way to reduce walking. The Hotel has a nice onsen and said they have a free shuttle bus at 9 am to the train station.

A very good day walking and very inspiring how a 79 and 90 year old enjoy their retirement.