Just the two temples today, 20 and 21 but each was on a different mountain and our accommodation was a long way off. There are a couple of options to visit these temples. The official trail goes straight up and over each mountain. That was my choice and Sandrine came with me. Erika took a taxi to No 20 and then a cable car to 21.
Judging by the condition of the trail I suspect most pilgrims use the cable car. I enjoyed the walk. We climbed through old cedar woodlands and followed a stream. The temple approaches comprised thousands of steps built by many generations of monks. Temple 20 was under restoration but 21 was an impressive complex. Sandrine wept at the beauty of it all and I wept when I realised there was nothing for lunch.
I thought I could hear the monks chanting through the trees but it turned out to be the engine room for the cable car.
It was a very hard day. We didn’t see anyone on the trail. Birdsong, rushing rivers and very tall trees with the occasional pilgrim rest hut. Every one of these huts is a stunning piece of architecture and they are particularly welcome when the rain comes. There is a typhoon heading towards Shikoku at the moment so expect photos of the insides of these huts.