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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:






#henro #japan #buddhism

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