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Henro Pilgrimage - Day 31 - May 16 (30km)

The wind was fierce today, blowing directly into my path whichever angle I faced. After a humble breakfast I set out for temple 44, back in the direction of Kuma-no-Kōgen. The town itself was cooler, surrounded by mountains 500m above sea level. From there came another 200m rise through the Misaka Pass, and then a two-hour descent into the outskirts of Matsuyama.

I came to my lodging relatively early, so decided to dump my luggage, hit the three nearby temples, and return by the time the baths opened. The monk of Bekkaku 9 was a young, friendly man who gave me a charm for traffic safety. He had a cat hanging out in the Nōkyō office as well, which was a stray they had taken in. Yasakaji (47) has a rich history and is clearly well-loved by the locals. Jōruriji (46) is one of the few temples whose grounds are filled with trees.

During dinner at the inn I sat across from a young man who had injured a muscle in his leg by pushing himself too hard. He had started his pilgrimage 8 days after me and yet had caught up to me here, meaning he must have been repeating 30-40km days and not resting at all. Apparently he’s now continuing his journey by bus, at least until his leg heals.

Animals: 3 cats, 1 baby boar

Osettai: A charm

Post-trip Addendum:

The only boar I saw on the journey was that little guy. On my way back from the temples I saw him standing in someone’s driveway. I asked him “What the heck are you?” and he fled. I didn’t see his mother around, which was better for me.

Original Japanese:

今日は異常に風が強かった。質素な朝食を食べて出発。道には上下が在ったが辛くなかった。

宿に比較的早く着き、先の寺を二つ打って来た。別格九番のお兄さん和尚は陽気だった。寺で飼う捨て猫も納経所で寛いでいた。八坂寺は明らかに地域の支援を得て歴史もあり栄えている。浄瑠璃寺は木が一杯で良かった。

宿で頑張り過ぎて足を「壊した」と言う若者と話した。気を付けよう。彼は四月二十四日スタートで今日で同じ宿だから一切休まずに連続で三十四十の日を繰り出しとったろう。今はバスで旅を続けていると言う。

動物:猫3・小猪1

お接待:守り

#henro #japan #buddhism

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