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Crossing the FINISH LINE with personalized towels!

Day 17: Imabari

sunny 21 °C

Temples 60, 64, 61, 59











Oneesan drove us to the last remaining temples around Matsuyama. The first temple was up the mountains and oneesan didn’t want to drive her car up on the narrow mountain roads, so we had to take the taxi. It cost 8000 yen, which hurt our wallets, but time was precious and we needed to finish the remaining temples by 5 pm.

We finished the first temple by noonish and went to Sukiya for lunch. They sell very cheap donburi for 250 yen, but it’s not high quality beef. It didn’t taste as great as the advertisements suggest, but you get what you pay for. Afterwards, we went to temple 61, which had a very modern feel to it. It definitely didn't seem like it was built 100 years ago.

Our last temple was Kokubunji, which was the temple we didn't get to in the very beginning when oneesan drove us. But now, we are ending here. It seemed like we’ve went around a full circle. The sun was shining, the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, everything was quiet and peaceful – it was just so…perfect. As I walked up the stairs leading to the temple, I reminisce the events that happened throughout this pilgrimage. The wonderful people I've met, the roads I've passed, the places I've slept at, and the culture I've immersed myself into these past two weeks. We rang the bell one last time, lit our last candles and incense, and made our final wish. There was a mix of feelings – happiness, sadness, pride, disbelief, and amazement. I can’t believe we’re actually finished with the ohenro trip. A pilgrimage my sister once told me, something the old me would never think of accomplishing.


We received our final stamp and completed our nokyocho! Afterwards, the man who sells towels at Imabari gave us towels with our names on it! (Imabari is famous for their towels). We went to get ice cream at a nearby shop at the beach.


It’s amazing how much Daishi-san has taught me during this trip. I am so thankful for the friends I’ve met during the trip. I can’t wait to meet them again someday. One of the most important gift I received was courage and bravery. I am willing to take more risks and not be afraid of the unknown. The old Melissa would never bike to 88 temples, take initiative to meet new people, and travel out of her boundaries. After this ohenro trip, Daishi-san will continue to be travelling with me. I plan on doing the pilgrimage one more time, but via walking. That way, I’ll be able to get the full experience.


This is something you can never learn from textbooks.


1) It's a wonderful feeling after you finish.
2) Taking the taxi is VERY expensive if you plan to travel far.
3) Imabari has a towel museum! (How random and cool is that?!)

Posted by thewongway 22:21 Archived in Japan

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