I marched across rice paddies visiting temples 29 and 30 today. On the way I caught up with a large group of Japanese pilgrims. From the distance it looked like a school trip but when I reached them I realized they had been in the same year as me. The best thing about this 88 Temple pilgrimage is the constant reminder that one is on a pilgrimage. You don’t have long to wait at even the most remote temple before some pilgrims arrive to pray.
Temple 30 was a bit odd because it stands opposite a large Shinto shrine. You have to know which one is which.
After that I was soon on the outskirts of Kochi city. Tomorrow is my rest day and I have 2 nights booked at the elegant Orient hotel, total price £88. Finding somewhere for a rest day on this pilgrimage is tricky because the pilgrim inns expect you to leave by 7am and so you have to keep walking whether you like it or not. Having walked 325km and nailed a third of the temples I will enjoy a day off, even though I will have to get up early to see the famous Kochi market which takes place every Sunday. All manner of things are cooked and sold and there is a Starbucks in the thick of it.