A Travellerspoint blog

Pile Up the Okonomiyaki... and add an egg on top!

Day 21 - Hiroshima

rain 18 °C

HIROSHIMA!

Japanese

日本にいる時に広島へ行けなければならない!広島がしせきでたくさん歴史があった。そして、湯名なお好み村と言うビルがあって、26のちがうお好み焼きのレストランがあった!お好み焼きを抱け作った!ぜんぶお好み焼き!メッチャ美味しくて、せいかいの一番うまい食べ物にだった!

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広島のお好み焼きを食べ見たかった。面白くて美味しそうと思った。広島のお好み焼きはキャベツとか、もやしとか、豚肉とか、そばとか、いか唐揚げとか、たことか、たまごをお好み焼きに入れて、たくさんお好み焼きのソースとあおのりに入れる。だから、広島のお好み焼きがもっと大きいと思った。

でも、美味しいお好み焼きを食べる前に広島市を探りましょう!松山から広島までみちじゅんはとても遠かった。めんどくさいだった。

• 松山のバス乗り場からフェリー乗り場まで: 30分間
• フェリーで広島に乗って:2時間
• 電車でダウンタウンの広島に乗って:35分間
• 電車とフェリーで宮島に乗って:55分間
• 宮島からダウンタウンの広島に帰る:55分間

宮島に付いた!でも。。。雨があった。そして傘を忘れた。やばい!(*´ο`*)
宮島の道に歩く行く時に店は傘のかかくにもっと高くに売った。でも、私たちはもみじまんじゅうを買うために使いたかった。だから、宮島へある行く時に傘を使わなかった。そして、たくさんしかを見て、いつも私たちの食べ物をさがしていた。

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ダウンタウンの広島に来る後で私の服がウエットに成った。モールに買い物をしたり、ダイソにスナックを買ったり、お好み村に晩御飯を食べたりした。たくさんお好み焼きのレストランがあって、どこへもピックした事が難しかった!

美味しいお好み焼きを食べる後でごろごろをした。午後10時30分にインターネットカフェーにいぱっくした。予定は一千九百をだして、9時間にコンピューターでドラマを見て、たくさんソフトスクリームを食べて、ミルクティーとお茶を飲んで、

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6時半に早く起きて、原爆ドームに行くつもりだった。小さいつきに寝て、背中と足がいたかった。あまり寝なかった。外は寒くて、曇りにだった。その天気はシアトルのような天気と思った。でも、原爆ドームに歩く行く時に暗い気持ちに成った。げんばくのビクティムを考えって、私の心が痛かった。寂しくて悲しかった。ご冥福をお祈りします。

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English

One of the places I want to go to was Hiroshima. Not only because it’s an important historical place, but there’s also the famous Okonomiyaki Tower, which holds 26 different shops that ALL sell okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki is similar to a pancake/pizza. It is filled with a variety of meats and vegetables and grilled in a hot plate. To finish it off, the okonomiyaki is smothered in mayonnaise, a thick and rich sauce, and sprinkled with seaweed flakes. It’s simply delicious – one of the greatest foods in the world!

Each region adds different toppings to their batter, which makes their okonomiyaki special. Hiroshima’s layers its okonomiyaki with egg, cabbage, bean sprouts, sliced pork, soba noodles, and other toppings (fried squid, octopus, mochi, cheese, kimchi, etc). Then it’s topped with another egg, smothered in okonomiyaki sauce, and finally sprinkled in seaweed flakes. Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki adds more ingredients in their batter, making their okonomiyaki much heartier.

However, before we actually got to eat this delicious goodness, we had to do a bit of touristy stuff.

To get to Hiroshima from Matsuyama.
• Bus ride to the ferry - 30 minutes
• Ferry ride to Hiroshima - 2 hours
• Train ride to downtown Hiroshima - 35 minutes
• Train ride to Miyajima - 45 minutes
• Ferry ride to the Miyajima - 10 minutes
• Riding back to downtown Hirosima - 55 minutes

After a LONG ride to Miyajima, it began to rain. It was also the day we decided NOT to bring an umbrella, which made our day like torture. The mini shops near the temples hiked their prices on umbrellas! But to save money on buying more momiji manju, we just walked to the temple like a professional Seattlite.

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Hiroshima is also famous for their momiji manju. Momiji stands for autumn maple leaves. Manju is a popular Japanese confection made out of flour and sweet red bean paste called an. As we walked to the temple, the mini shops along the way sold traditional Japanese decorations, GIANT rice paddles, and LOTS of momiji manju. We saw many deers along the way who were waiting for by-passers to feed them. I finally found my daruma in a shop!

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We were soaking wet by the time we went back to downtown Hiroshima. We shopped around the malls, shopped for snacks at Daiso, and went to the Okonomiyaki Tower for dinner! Three floors of goodness, 26 stores of fun. We walked into Floor 1 and every shop was persuading us to eat in their shop. Finally after walking to all three floors, we finally decided on one.

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Our plan was to spend the night at an Internet Cafe. We tried to stay out as late as possible, since we only had limited time in the Internet Cafe – 9 hours for 1900 yen (about $23). We went to a Pachinko place, equivalent to a casino in the US. We stayed at a nearby bookstore until 10:30 and went to the Internet Cafe. We watched Skip Beat, ate free ice cream, and drank free tea/soda/coffee, all night long!

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We woke up with aching backs and sore legs from being scrunched up in the small cubicle at the Internet Café. We checked out and headed over to the Hiroshima Dome/Memorial. The sky was gloomy, which reminded me of Seattle weather. It left me with a very depressing and sad feeling. There was a gloomy aura around the area. Ravens were flying all around. As we walked around the memorial, I thought about the victims that were impacted from the atomic bomb. I hope everyone who has died from this tragic event rest in peace.

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Posted by thewongway 23:20 Archived in Japan Comments (1)

Lasagna, Yo-Zakura, Leaving Carbon Footprint (literally)

Day 18-20: Matsuyama

sunny 20 °C

Quick change of author for a couple of days (Melissa's taking a writers break for a little bit, she'll be back for the next entry).

4/9 (Mon)

Due to the dire conditions that our pilgrimage left our shoes in, we went shoe-hunting at the local Ross-like (cheap) mall called Jow-Plaza. The prices were matched by their looks (cheap). Our shoe-hunt shall continue.

Matsu picked us up and showed us around Matsuyama University (today was the first day of the new school year, which starts in the spring in Japan).

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Deciding to skip her class, we met up with another old classmate Saki, who's 5 months pregnant! (OMG OMG OMG). Later we were also joined by Nat-chan (who just finished her interview that day for an insurance company) and snacked/talked at the Matsu-U's cafeteria while waiting for our dinner reservation.

We had dinner at an Italian restaurant called La-sera (their lasagna was featured in the local magazine) with our high school homeroom teacher Ide-sensei. The lasagna that came was 1 layer thick and was served on a hot plate... The unsatisfying lasagna was fortunately accompanied by satisfying conversation, which mostly revolved around what everyone in our class are up to now. It's a weird feeling hearing about all the different life trajectories of our class took (policemen, chef, bank clerk, father, mother).

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After parting with Ide-sensei, we continued our night with yo-zakura hanami (night cherry blossom viewing). We searched for a lit-up park (in Japan they light up lanterns in some parks just for sakura blossom viewing) with no success. Utilizing the hobo-skills we acquired during our henro trip, Melissa and I suggested viewing the sakura in a parking lot and lighting the sakura tree up with our $5 flashlights. The result was surprisingly nice, and we chatted with our mouths stuffed with junk food; a satisfying end of the day.

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4/11 (Wed)

Went to the new mall Emifull. The morning walk to the dentist with okaasan in the pouring weather left my shoes quite saturated, which resulted in me borrowing okaasan's old shoes (this might seem like petty detail, but I promise it'll be important later). We spent 5 hours walking around the mall (killing time before oneesan picks us up). What's funny is that the last 2 of those 5 hours were spent sitting at the McDonald's because the shoes I borrowed from okaasan were literally (LITERALLY) falling apart as I walked (every step I took left behind crumbled bits of the sole, which was made more obvious by the stark whiteness of the floor tiles). I didn't notice until I back tracked some stores and realized that I was leaving a trail of black crumbs (this is my carbon foot print!). I didn't know shopping and mall-walking was such an intense sport until now... We went home happy with Melissa buying a takoyaki maker and me buying a kotatsu (Japanese low table with an attached heater).

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Posted by thewongway 22:09 Archived in Japan Comments (0)

Crossing the FINISH LINE with personalized towels!

Day 17: Imabari

sunny 21 °C

Temples 60, 64, 61, 59

ホストファミリーのお姉さんは車で愛媛の最後のお寺にうんてんした。60番の横峰寺は山にあって山の道はすごくあぶないだったら、タクシーでお寺に行った。でもすごく高いだった!タクシーは八千円にだった。さいふが狭いにちゃった。でも、午後五時の前にお寺にぜんぶ行きたいからタクシーに行く事が大丈夫だった。

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午後12時ぐらいに始めるのお寺に終わって、すきやにメッチャ安いどんぶりを食べた。すごく安いだけど、あまり美味しくなかった。あとで、61番の香園寺に行った。お寺はぜんぜん古なかった。香園寺のデザインはモダンでモダンぽいと思った。

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最後のお寺は国分寺だった。最初にお姉さんは国分寺へ行くつもりだけど時間がないから行けなかった。でも、今最後のお寺は国分寺で本当に丸のように行った。天気は晴れで、さくらが満開で、しずかで、すばらしい気持ちがあった!全部が完璧だった。お寺のかいだんに上る時になつかしい思い出を覚えた。お遍路したいる時の思い出に思って。やさしい人に会って、こわくて、すばらしい道に歩く行って、色々な所に寝て、日本の色々なカルチャーを習った。国分寺に最後の梵鐘を告げて、最後のキャンドルとおせんこうをおこして、最後のおさめふだにだした。納経所に最後のスタンプを持って、私たちの納経帳をらくせいした!

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写真を撮って、お寺のとなりにいまばりのゆめいなタオルを売っている店があった。店主はやさしくて、タオルをあげた!そして、タオルに私たちの名前をぬいつけた!最後のおせったいを貰った!やった~!メッチャうれしかった!

後でアイスクリームを食べに行った。

お遍路をする事が多としている。だいしさんといっしょに色々な所へ行って、いっぱい友達に作って、たくさんレッスンを習った。もっとゆうきがある人になった。

みんなさん、本当にありがとうございました。

English
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.

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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.

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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.

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This is something you can never learn from textbooks.

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KEY POINTS:
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 Comments (0)

Miracles Really Do Happen!

Day 16: Ashizuri

sunny 22 °C

Temple 33 - 43

日本語:
私たちは本当に幸せ者と思った。観音さまは助けた!従前の予定は朝早く33番の朱印を持って、34番の種間寺まで6.5キロ位に歩く行って、もう35番の清滝寺まで10キロ位に歩く行って、清滝寺から36番の青竜寺までヒッチハイクをして、37番の岩本寺まで電車に乗って、岩本寺のつやどに一泊明かすはずだった。火曜日までに43番の明石寺の朱印を持って、松山に帰るつもりだった。でもミラクルが起こった。。。

納経帳を開く待っていた時に他おへんろに会った。名前はこながいさんだった。お姉さんは「すみません。いっしょに車で乗せてもらいませんか。」と言って、こながいさんは「大丈夫です。」と言った!こながいさんの最後のお寺も43番だった!終日こながいさんといっしょにお寺に来た。たぶん観音さまは私たちの最後の問題を通り抜ける助けった。

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本当にミラクルだった。タイミングは完璧だった。今朝私の頭とおなかがいたくて、体は弱かった。ですから、前の予定を出来る事はたぶん無理だった。コンビニにパンとお茶を買いに行った。あまり元気じゃなくて、行程がすごく長かったから、車にいっぱい寝た。

こながいさんの仕事は電子工学者だ(エンジニア/デザイナー)。会社にスパーコンピューターがデサインをして。趣味はさいふとかバッグを作る事だ。
38番の金剛福寺は一番忘れがたいお寺だ。金剛福寺は海生動物が有名な足摺岬にある。お寺の前に大きい亀の藤蔵があった!土産物屋に魚のジャーキーとまんじゅうを買って近くのレストランにお昼ご飯を食べに行った。時間がないから、早く食べて、次のお寺に行かなければならない。

じゅんやさんの車に乗る時とこながいさんの車に乗るときがとても違うと思った。じゅんやさんはゆっくり運転してらくらくだった。半面に、こながいさんはもっと早く運転してと急ぐだった。高速道路に遅い車を過ぎ行って、お寺にいる時がもっと短くて、お昼ご飯を食べる事は電工のようなスペードだった!もし、こながいさんはじゅんやさんのらくらくな性格があったから、たぶん早く終わる事が無理だった。

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午後3:30に40番の観自在寺に着いた。時間が少しあったら宇和島城に行って、41番の竜光寺に速く行った。一時間にもう三お寺があった。いっこくをあらそう。予定はお寺に朱印だけを早く持って、お寺に祈祷課題をしに帰った。でも、41番の納経所にツアーバスのおへんろがいっぱいいて、42番のお寺に事故があったら警察がいた。43番のお寺まで25分だけに行けなければならなかったが全地球測位システムはさどうをしなかった。43番の納経所にギリギリに付いた。

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こながいさんと四国遍路の卒業をしょうした。おめでとう!四国遍路を終わる時にどんな気持ちがあるかな。。。うれしい?なつかしい?かなしい?何もあらない?

42番と41番で祈祷課題をしに帰った。やさしいこながいさんは八幡浜駅に下ろして、JRで松山に帰った。かながいさんは九州まで船に帰った。駅にUFOラーメンとパンを食べた。お水がないからなまラーメンを食べた。からすぎるだったがもうおいしいと思った。駅におかしい男はいつも目を凝らした。気持ち悪い!

9:45:今電車にいた!2時間に電車に座って、おしりがいたいいいいい~!でも、もうすぐ松山に帰るから大丈夫だ。嬉しい!

English Version:

Miracles – they really happen. Seriously.

Our original plan was to get the stamp from temple 33 first thing in the morning, walk 4 miles from 33 to 34, and another 6 miles to 35, hitchhike to 36, train to 37 and spend the night at a free nearby hut. We were hoping to finish 43 and get back to Matsuyama by Tuesday.
When we were waiting for the stamp place to open up, we met another ohenro, Konagai-san. He was also travelling the pilgrimage in order (since it was leap year, much ohenro travel backwards – starting from 88). We asked if he could hitch a ride with him and he said yes! The best thing about it was - the last temple he had to finish was 43, which was exactly where we needed to go! The entire day, we hitched a ride with Konagai-san.

Many miracles happened to us during this trip. The timing was so perfect; it was as if our trip was all planned out for us. Perhaps it was Kanon-sama who helped us get through our last obstacle.

I don't think I would have lasted today because I already feeling sick this morning. My head and stomach ached. I was suddenly feeling very weak and tired. We stopped by the convenient store to buy a warm bottle of lemon tea and a loaf of bread for my upset stomach. There were many long gaps between the temples, so I took many naps during the ride.

During the car ride, we learned that Konagai-san is a designer/engineer for an electronics company. He specializes in designing the 'super computer.' Maybe I will be able to be his first tester for his super computer? Fingers crossed! Besides working, he enjoys travelling and making bags/wallets from scratch.

Temple 38 was probably the most memorable throughout the entire day. The temple was at Cape Ashizuri, which was famous for its sea life. There was even a giant turtle statue in front of the temple! We stopped for a quick lunch at a nearby restaurant. When I mean quick, I mean REALLY quick. Konagai-san slurped his udon in lightning speed. He finished his entire bowl while Meagan and I finished only half our donburi.
My experience riding with Junya-san was very different from riding with Konagai-san. Junya-san is more relaxed and likes to take his time slowly. Slow-paced and rural hippie describes the trip perfectly. On the other hand, Konagai-san likes to rush and speed through everything. He drives very fast, passes through all the slow cars, spends half the amount of time in each temple, and even eats his food in lightning speed! Maybe it was because we had to finish 10 temples by 5 pm, but it was really hard to enjoy the process. However, without Konagai-san and his fast paced personality, I don't think we would have been able to finish so early!

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By 3:30 pm, we already finished temple 40. Since we had a little time to spare, Konagai-san and I walked up to Uwajima Castle and took a VERY quick look inside the castle, then headed straight to temple 41.

We had an hour left and 3 more temples remaining. It was a race against time. Our plan was to get the all the stamps first then go back to each temple to finish our prayers. There seems to be an detour stopping us in every temple. Temple 41 had the tour bus people with the bajillion books stacked for the monk to sign. Temple 42 had police officers that stopped us because there was an accident. We had 25 minutes to get to temple 43 and the GPS wasn't working. Speeding through with only 5 minutes left, we made it to the stamp office before 5 pm.

We took pictures to celebrate Konagai's 'graduation' of the ohenro pilgrimage. I wonder how it feels to finish the entire pilgrimage after all those days of travelling via walking, bussing, hiking, biking, training, and hitchhiking. I guess we would have to wait a couple more days until we ‘graduate’ as well. We drove back to temple 42 and 41 to finish our prayers.

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Afterwards, Konagai-san was kind enough to drive us to Yawatahama station to take the JR back to Matsuyama. Then he went to take the ferry back to Kyushu. We ate our UFO ramen we bought a while back from the night at the dormitory and our leftover slices of bread. There wasn't any hot water, so we had to eat the hard ramen straight out of the container at the station. It was way too salty, like eating a brick of salt. But cheap henros like us do not waste food, so we ate the entire box.

Some creepy man who kept on staring at us... but whatever. It’s 9:45 right now and we’re currently on the train for two hours. My butt hurts from sitting for so much, but oh well. At least we're on our way back to Matsuyama!

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Interesting facts:
1) Don't be afraid to ask for help. People in Japan are willing to help you, especially if you're a henro!
2) Japanese people eat rice very slowly, but eat their noodles VERY fast!
3) There are funny advertisements everywhere.

Posted by thewongway 22:26 Archived in Japan Comments (0)

Fine Dining: Cold Omurice with Kannon-sama

Day 16: Kochi

sunny 20 °C

Temples 28-32 (arrived at 33)

日本語
5時47分におじいさんは「起きなさい」と言った。とても早かったと思った!朝ごはんはインスタントみそとなまたまごだった。まずかった。でも食べ物はただだったら愚痴なかった。そして、ロールケーキとゆでたまごを貰った。

おじいさんは私たちと駅のりばへ行って、おじいさんのへんろのハットに写真を撮った。お姉さんはおじいさんの言葉がうるさかったと思った。うるさかっただけど心がやさしかった。
間違い電車線に入った。やばい!早く正しい電車線に入った。みんなさんは姉さんと私をよく見た。たぶんみんなさんは私たちがくさくて、へんろすがたがおかしかった。たぶん、みんなさんは私たちはかっこいいと思ったかな。。。

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電車を乗る後で28番の大日寺へ歩く言った。たくさんバスのへんろを見た。29番の土佐国分寺へ行く時に昨日のやさしい2人ずつを見た!29番が電車とバスに乗って、30番が電車に乗って、31番へ歩く行った。31番へ歩く行く時に、最後の1.3キロはけんろだった。疲れただけどみのりあった。墓所に通って墓所のとなりにいっぱいのさくらがあった。うつくしい~

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もうすぐ歩く行って、一番美しくてきれいな植物園に着いた。傍聴料があったがへんろの道から歩く行って、傍聴無料だった。ラッキー!色々な花と蝶があった。やっぱりみんなさんは私たちをよく見たがご心配なく。

31番に無銭旅行をした。たくさん人が聞き流しなかった。15分間、駐車場に待った。88箇所のバスガイドに「みんなさんといっしょにバスに乗られませんか。」と聞き頂いた。でも、出来なかった。5分後でやさしい男の車に無銭旅行をした!その男はお遍路しなかったが私たちがかわいそうと思った。ふもとに下ろして、もう1.3キロを上って、32番のお寺に着いた。32番のお寺によしさんとあやさんのフランス人の友達に会った!ドキュメンタリー映画を撮っていた。

もう4時だったら、33番のお寺に行く始めた。33番のお寺のつやどに一泊寝てつもりだった。つやどはへんろの休む所でただだった。私たちはとても貧乏のへんろだったら、つやどは一番いい寝るところだった。渡し場に5.5キロを歩く行って、私船に乗って、もう2キロを歩く行った。33番のお寺の歩く時に店にキャー利商品のこりの一つのオムライスを250円に買って。でもやさしい店主は「へんろさんですか?はいどうぞう。」と言ってもう一つのオムライスをあげた!だから二つのオムライスを250円に買った!

33番のお寺に着いて、観音堂に一泊明かした。お寺の上に観音さまのえがあった。メッチャ美しくてきれいだった!私たちを寝る時に観音さまは降鑒していたかな。。。
観音さま、私たちが安全に帰る事を導き手下さい。

English
Ojiisan woke us up at 5:47 am and made us miso soup with a raw egg. Not a big fan of miso made from lukewarm tap water out of a faucet, or the raw egg that didn't cook through at all. But it was free, so we couldn't complain. I drank half of it and had to pour it down the drain when he wasn’t looking. My sister had a stomachache afterwards, so I think pouring it down the drain was a smart move. He gave us three pastries and seven hard-boiled eggs for our trip. On top of that, he didn't charge us a single yen!

The city was a weird place. There’s a bell that rings at 9 pm to let everybody in the city know it's time for bed, and another one that rings at 6 am to let everyone know it's time to wake up. I think the last time I slept that early was in elementary school.

He walked us to the train station and made us take pictures at the henro huts. Ojiisan was a very pushy old man. His accent was thick and kept shouting when we didn’t understand him. Meagan was getting very annoyed with him, but I didn't mind because he never tried to say anything to me.

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Nonetheless, he was still very kind and cared a lot about both of us just like a grandfather, a very pushy grandfather. We went on the wrong train and had to get off at the closest stop to take it back onto the correct train. During the train rides, many people stared at us. I didn’t know if I felt like I was a celebrity or a bum in smelly clothes.

After the train ride, we walked to temple 28. On the way back to the train station, we passed by the kind couple who drove us to temple 27! We hoped that they would offer us another ride, but we never saw them again. We trained and bussed to temple 29, trained to 30, and walked to 31. In the remaining 1.3k, we had to climb uphill with our backpacks. Tiring, but very rewarding and probably my favorite route out of the entire trip.

We passed by a graveyard with cherry blossoms that overlooked the ENTIRE city. I wished I took a picture, but Meagan said we had to respect the dead. We walked up some more and somehow, reached into a botanic garden! It was the most beautiful garden I have ever seen! Apparently, people have to pay to get in, but since we went through the secret passageway for walking ohenros, we got in for free!
At 31, we tried to hitch a ride. Many times were unsuccessful. Most stared at us like with disbelief or purposely ignored us. We stood in the parking lot for 15 minutes waiting for someone to pick us up. We even tried asking the tour bus, but no success. Finally after 20 minutes, a man came and offered us a ride! He wasn't doing the pilgrimage at all, but felt sorry for us.

We walked another 1.3k up the mountains to temple 32. We met the French people that we met at Yoshi-san's place! They were filming for their documentary. We were interviewed for a few minutes, so hopefully we will be in the film when it gets released?!

It was already 4 pm and we needed to make it to temple 33, so we can spend the night at the free hut (tsuyado) provided at the next temple. We walked about 5.5k to the ferry station, took the ferry (which was free for henros), and walked another 2k to temple 33. On the way to the temple, we saw a store that sold their leftover food for extra cheap. We decided to get one omurice for 250 yen, but the owner gave us another one for free! Two omurice for 250 yen - what a deal!

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The omurice wasn't the best. It was cold, the rice was bland and mushy, and the egg was overcooked. But after eating so much unhealthy processed foods and cream rolls, leftover omurice was a meal fit for a king! We arrived at temple 33 and one of the priestess allowed us to stay at the temple that housed Kannon-sama, the Goddess of Mercy. We ate our cold, but heart-warming omurice inside our sleeping bags.

Our first time staying at a temple and Kannon-sama is watching over us. Hopefully, she will guide us safely back to Matsuyama on time.

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Posted by thewongway 01:18 Archived in Japan Comments (0)

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