Temples 24 and 25

Estimated distance walked this day:  9 kms

Cumulative distance walked: 134 kms

It was a bright and sparkling day with a cold sharp wind. We rode the train out to the end of the line, then waited 90 minutes for the bus. While the bus station was well appointed with food, drink, free and for-sale reading material, even bicycle rental, there was no WiFi there, despite it being a most natural location of such a service.

With 90 minutes lost — you’d think they’d do a better job of coordinating the bus and train —   I felt as if we were only going to get to a couple of temples that day, which was correct. We walked a bit at the beach along the rugged coast line, then raised ourselves up to Temple 24, Hotsumisakiji. This is the temple where the great Kobo Daishi had an enlightenment experience, viewing the sea and sky. His religious name, Kukai, means Sky-Sea.

We then walked to Temple 25, Shinshoji, which, for once, was not on top of a hill or mountain. We were walking along the seaside or through coastal villages to get there. The temple has hundreds of small Jizo statues each holding a ship’s wheel, appropriate for this seaside temple.

Then we walked to our inn. Once again, the crapshoot of what we get when there’s just a list of places to call…in this instance, it was a huge step up from the previous evening’s lodging, but that standard would be hard to not meet. In this case the inn was run by a very nice elderly couple, but the place looked like it hadn’t been fixed up since it was probably acquired fifty years ago. The floors sagged, the sink didn’t work, the whole thing was sort of falling around their ears. Still, our hostess worked hard to make us comfortable. She was very concerned that we would not like Japanese cuisine, despite our assurances. With our supper (nearly everyone makes supper and breakfast as a part of the lodging fee), she made us both tiny hamburgers. This hamburger was the second time I’ve eaten beef on his trip so far!

Thus ended our first day in Kochi province.


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