Day 22 - Matsuyama
14.04.2012 - 14.04.2012 20 °C
The proper way to finish the ohenro trip is to go back to the very first temple to thank and let the gods know you have returned home safely.
We went back to the store where we originally got all our henro jackets, nokyocho, candles, and other items for the trip. The old lady that runs the store started crying. We frantically asked her if she was alright. She was very glad to see us back unscathed. It made me speechless. Even though I’ve only met her once, she shed a tear for us and shared her happiness. I felt so honored, so privileged that so many people have helped us. We bought two towels that showed the map of the entire henro, but the old lady gave us back our money and an additional 500 yen for drinks.
Afterwards, we went to see the famous Dogo Onsen. Dogo Onsen was where the famous novel, Botchan was set in.
Fun Fact - The main building in Spirited Away was also modeled after Dogo Onsen. Now you knowwww!
We got to eat delicious Botchan dango, but I liked shoyu dango more, which is dango covered in thick soysauce.
We returned our bikes. I will miss my mamachari. It took me to so many beautiful places. The times I carried it up the steep slopes, the countless times I fell in the middle of the busy road, the breeze I feel when I ride it.
However, we are still not done yet. We still have the stamp from Koya-san in Osaka we have to get!
Extra BONUS from Meagan:
Decided to visit my old dojo in Matsuyama, Muneta Budokan, before leaving. It was very nostalgic biking through the same streets that I biked 3 times a week for a year to get to the dojo. Arriving at the beginning of the kids' class, I got to talk with Muneta-sensei a little bit before it got too busy. It took some talking to remind him and his wife who I was, but they seem to recall my name after awhile
Then a really awesome thing happened. While talking with sensei, Okusan (his wife) was digging through the office. I thought she was just doing paperwork, so I just ignored it. She suddenly pulls out a flat box and hands it to me. It's my blackbelt certificate! She said 6 years ago when I passed the exam, the paperwork took so long that I had already left by the time the Japanese yudanshakai sent the dojo my certificate. She wanted to send it to me but had lost my address. She held on to it thinking that one day I might come pick it up (and so I did)!
- I can’t believe this has come to an end… (until we get to Koya-san)
- People remember you, even though you’ve only met them once.
- Why aren’t there mamachari in Seattle?
- Naan with honey and seseme seeds taste soooo gooooooddd!