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Henro Pilgrimage - Day 22 - May 7 (26km)

The path to the cape and back up is varied. There are two ways down and around four ways back up. The wife of the inn owner suggested that I avoid the coast today and instead head through Shimizu City, looping back down and around to the cape. That way, I’ll maximize variety and be able to walk back up the eastern coast properly tomorrow morning.

There was another reason to go through Shimizu instead: food. The eastern coast has very little along it besides small fishing villages. In Shimizu I found a café and had brunch around 9:30. And man, the long beach at Ōki was fantastic. I walked the whole length of it and took a break on the sand. I gazed at the sea and felt peace. I wondered when sand first came to be, and thought to ask my sister.

The temple, Kongōfukuji (38), was a spectacle. Another very “well done” temple. The main gate was beautiful, and the statues all around make Shingon seem a little truer. Maybe.

Tomorrow it’s about time I really did some distance. Now that I’m at the second cape, the journey is about half over. The day after tomorrow I’ll be out of Kōchi and into Ehime, the next stage of the training. Kōchi was long but not overwhelming. Sure I got rained on and had to sleep outside for a few days in a row, but never once did I think of quitting.

Animals: 1 cat

Osettai: Nigiri, candies, some extra dinner

Post-trip Addendum:

The real reason I wanted to go faster was because I got a message from Jeffery (remember him?). He was somehow already in the 40s, several full walking days ahead of me. Even accounting for the day I rested, he still must have been really pushing every day. This made me feel somehow behind, despite the locals telling me I was going at a good pace.

I’m reminded of the words of a old lady at a particular temple:

It doesn’t matter what other people are doing. The Henro Path is exactly the path you chose to walk.

Original Japanese:






#henro #japan #buddhism

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