Estimated distance walked this day: 31 kms
Cumulative distance walked: 36 kms
Saturday was a busy day. It started off with being driven to Temple 4, Dainichiji, by the proprietor of our minshuku. It was up in the hillside, and quite pretty. I thought its display of 33 Kannon statues was interesting.
As we walked to the next set of temples, the scenery was semi-rural to suburban. We got off the very well-marked course twice, mainly by misinterpreting arrows than there not being enough of them. At Temple 6, Anrakuji we had a snack, as our map indicated no food until midway to Temple 8. However, luckily, at Temple 7, Juurakuji, we spied a noodle shop, which was excellent news. Thus fortified with snack and lunch, we walked to three more temples, mostly in the rain, taking us to Kirihataji, Temple 10, up in the hillside, at the end of the day. I’m so glad we had another small fortifying snack then, as we had a ways to go to our hotel. It might have been as long as eight kms. Since we were up in the hills, it was downhill mostly, but it still took awhile. To my surprise — it shows me how much I misinterpreted the maps — rather than getting increasingly urban as we got closer to the hotel, it actually got more rural.
We came up and over a large dike, and down to a little, one-lane bridge across the river. By now it was dusk, and we got out our flashlights to make ourselves more visible for the crossing. At least the rain had stopped. The bridge had red and blue flashing lights and a 30 km speed limit. It looked surreal: the flashing lights, the parted curtain of bamboo forest on the other side. It was another good km at least through farmers’ fields, and it became sincerely dark now.
We had another one lane, light flashing bridge, and then came up and over another dike, and then it was city-like. As we had been walking, our goal shifted from walking to the hotel, to walking to the train station to catch a train to the hotel, to call a cab from the station. We were in the process of wandering, trying to find the station, when we came upon a police station, instead. We prevailed upon the young officer, who was just hanging out in front apparently doing nothing, to call us a cab. The police then invited us to hang out in the station, rather than the rainy dark. The cab arrived in a few short minutes and whisked us away to our hotel. We dumped the packs in our room, and fell on our food in the restaurant at the hotel. After hot showers, we quickly fell asleep.
(Sorry again for no photos. These will be added in future edits of this blog.)