Estimated distance walked this day: 11 kms
Cumulative distance walked: 347 kms
We woke up to a somewhat drippy morning, which was forecasted to be heavy rain through the afternoon. With this sort of forecast, we did not want to take on that much.
So, we got up, and walked a few kilometers to Kannonji (Temple 68) and Jinnein (Temple 69). These two temples are immediately adjacent to one another, so you get a sort of two-for-one when you visit them. They share a stamp office, but you still pay the fee for each when you get your book stamped.
Kannonji had a newer architectural element, and I thought it blended in well with the rest of the older temple architecture. It was a two-story, modernist white gate to the hondo. It gave a feeling of purity before you step up to the hondo for prayers. It also provided some shelter to a horde of pilgrims doing prayers there.
After we finished at these two temples, we walked mostly along the Saita River for about five kms. We accidentally missed a turn, and I asked someone for directions. He not only helped us, when we started to go a bit astray from his directions, he yelled from quite a distance, telling us to take a right up ahead.
We were able to find Motoyamaji, Temple 70, by steering for its tall, stately pagoda. Motoyamaji means Mountain Origin Temple, but it was on flat ground. The temple complex was spacious and the buildings were relatively large, conveying a feeling of grandeur. The temple was founded in 807 and has never burnt to the ground — unusual for one in a relatively accessible location. Usually any temple near a population center was razed in one war or another. I met a nice temple cat there, and petted it while we sort of hung out at the stamp office. Someone at the temple gave us soy milk drink boxes as osettai while we were there, which was nice.
When we left the temple, we walked a few blocks to a big highway, Route 11, and turned then on another arterial, Route 237. This sort of environment is not the best for walking, but it was the most direct way back to our lodging. It also had plentiful eating opportunities. We ate a sushi place, then tromped through the pouring rain along Route 237.
The rest of the day, we spent in our room. Ann read, and I caught up on blogging. I’m glad we spent the afternoon of this very damp day indoors.