Day 14 – Prayers at Temple 27

A night of total luxury, last night. And this morning I was expecting a light breakfast of coffee and bread, perhaps with some jam. But my request hadn’t quite been followed. The coffee and cream awaited me at 6.30 but so was the full Japanese breakfast crammed into a club sandwich. How could I refuse? I crunched my way through all the little fish and other things reporting how delicious everything was. The owners are musicians and I saw a piano and 2 keyboards (one from Sweden) plus 4 electric guitars. Some huge speakers, open reel Akai tape recorder and a classic old Pioneer amplifier. Last night will live on as one of the best memories of this pilgrimage.

Today was a day of two halves. First I walked 20Km along the Route 55 coastal highway. Unfortunately the sea view was mostly obscured by the enormous tsunami defenses. Then, after leaving my bag at tonight’s inn, I climbed a 424m hill to visit Temple 27. On the way up I met Phil from Sacramento, California, coming down. I asked him if there were any pilgrims around. He’d met a few but mostly the people I met on Day 1. Erika is nearby, サラ is ahead having taken the train, Earl “hey dude I’m from California” is motoring on and Sebastian is ploughing a lone farrow. I was able to add Sandrine and the Canadian to the tally.

It was a very steep climb to the temple. There was a trail plus a winding road. Towards the top the trail joined the road and 6 minibuses packed with Japanese pilgrims drove past, all cheering me. They were all keen to hear about my pilgrimage and I managed to tell them I come from Rondon and I’m walking all 88 temples in about 22 months.

I joined them for prayers. This was an intensely religious experience for them. On the other hand I was walking the whole pilgrimage so mutual respect prevailed. I made a short video, only about 15 seconds so you can get an idea of how things should be done. Lots of candles, lots of incense and then the stamp books. But not just books. They all had the large scrolls with wooden supports which are stamped like the books and will make an impressive display when they eventually complete the pilgrimage, probably in a couple of years time. They also had their pilgrim vests stamped in each temple and they will be buried in these most holy of items.

The couple who looked after me last night

Every few kilometres there are clean pilgrim toilets

The climb to Temple 27

The first temple with a proper garden
A stamp scroll. Impressive but you wouldn’t want to carry it
Pilgrims have their vests stamped

7 comments on “Day 14 – Prayers at Temple 27

  1. Vikki McLean

    Hi Tim,
    I’m loving my morning trips to Japan. What a fascinating place. I’m encouraged to see that so much forest and wild beauty remains. “Rondon” must seem far away.

    • Hi Vikki, great to hear from you. Kyoto seems so far away too. Shikoku is quite an experience. Tim x

  2. Miyuki

    Already two weeks you have being on this journey! Made me think am I advancing everyday like you do. Such a wonderful way to expand your life experience, encountering new foods, cultures and people and challenging your inner self! Please keep inspiring me Tim San!

    • Miyuki sensei, I owe you so much for the time and effort you dedicated to teaching me some Japanese. My experience is so much more satisfying than when I last traveled here without any knowledge of the language. Now I can make telephone reservations and communicate to people. It’s a precious gift. テイム

  3. The video is beautiful Tim. You are doing so well, what wonderful memories you are making.

  4. Celia and David

    Hi Tim. We have been away lately and are going away for most of October. We have once again been catching up with your wonderful blogs spent an hour reading them the other night! So different from last year,but fascinating. Thanks a lot for wonderful pictures be lucky happy and safe ,all the best Celia and David West Sussex 👍

    • Hi Celia & David everything is different. Japan is a wonderful country. Glad you’ve come back for some more of my ramblings. Tim

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