November 30, 2017.
November 25, 2017. A day in the city. A train to Tanabe City.
November 17, 2017. Kokuba to Takamatsu.
November 16, 2017. Sakaide to Kokubu.
November 8, 2017. Iyo-Komatsu to Niihama. Return by train to Saijō City for the night.
Nyūgawa to Iyo-Komatsu Station. Train to Saijō City for the night.
April 21, 2017
Walking a pilgrimage can be a solitary activity. Gail and I have each other for company, but many travel solo. On occasion our paths mesh for just a moment, loosely intertwining on the trail or at a temple. We exchange pleasantries as best we can, considering we speak only English and they, with few exceptions, are Japanese and speak only Japanese. The 88-temple route is, after all, a pilgrimage deeply engrained in Japanese history and culture. This is their pilgrimage and we are the Western interlopers.
But there are growing numbers of foreigners plying this path. Just as we discovered the Henro-michi back home, so too have any number of other foreign nationals. We have met pilgrims from the United States, Australia, China, France and the Netherlands.
Today, our route will cross paths with Simon from Germany. Continue reading
April 11, 2017
It rained all night. Waking up this morning, looking out over the forlorn landscape and watching more rain pelting down on the road we would follow, there seemed little hope for a pleasurable walk.
We sat down for our Japanese breakfast in the dining room of Kobushi-no-sato, a feast designed to take our minds off the weather. While we grilled fish over the open flame of a tabletop brazier, nature was relenting…somewhat. By the time we had suited up in our foul-weather garb and exited the comfortable confines of our inn, there was barely a drizzle. Continue reading