Day 33 – Matsuyama

Autumn has finally arrived. The temperature has dropped from 30 degrees last week to a more reasonable 21 and the dreadful humidity is no more. In the past 7 days I’ve walked 250Km and visited just 8 temples. That has brought me to the city of Matsuyama in the north west of Shikoku. It’s the home of Dogo Onsen, one of the oldest and most famous of Japan’s bath houses as well as a castle and much besides. I’ve now walked exactly 800Km and nailed 51 temples. That leaves me with about 350Km and 37 temples. Time for a couple of rest days.

Today was a short 13Km walk with 5 temples along the way. I barely departed from one before the next one appeared. It was all very civilised. The rural ramshackle houses gave way to plush suburbs with hybrid cars gliding along the streets with more urgency than I’ve seen for awhile. I love being in a city; there is a Starbucks and an Italian restaurant within “walking distance”. And yet… and yet I’m already missing the little fishing villages and the rural backwaters with elderly homeowners caring for me, the strange birds and the rice paddies. Ah well, they’ll be back soon enough.

A short hop from Temple 46 to 47

Buy your omikuji (fortune) slip here
These gates reveal a beautiful suburban Japanese garden
The scenic gardens of Temple 48
Matsuyama is crowding out Temple 51
Pilgrims used to wear straw sandals and they left them hanging in the temples
Lunch. But you could turn into a pig eating here

14 comments on “Day 33 – Matsuyama

  1. Enjoy your Japanese bath Tim. You do realise Rule 1 don’t you?

  2. Happy Birthday! 🎂🎈🎉🎂

  3. The days pass by quickly Tim – it seems hardly anytime since I read your first days post and here you are on day 33 ! enjoy and cherish the memories.

    • Hi David, it must seem like a long weekend compared to your pilgrimage. I’ve already preordered your book from Amazon. It will be a great read.

  4. Vikki Mclean


    I hope you find a non-fishy dish with which to celebrate.


    • Thanks Vikki, alas sushi but I like sushi. Tomorrow I will find a meal somewhere in Matsuyama

  5. Roger Clarkson

    Happy Birthday. Enjoy your rest day. Matsuyama castle looks worth a visit.

  6. David Rose

    Love the flying fish illusion (top picture).
    Happy Birthday!

  7. Happy birthday, Tim! 👣🎂🍺🎁🎉

    Did you ever find out why all the statues seem to be dressed in red?

    • Hi DJ cheers. I’ve no idea about the red clothes but they are very common so perhaps there’s no meaning at all. It’s like the traffic lights. Why are they red, amber and blue? It’s a bizarre world here

  8. Vicky Williamson

    Kia ora, Tim, Your photos of the landscape and gardens on this post and the previous one are fabulous and must be the perfect foil for the less pleasant ambiance of walking on busy roads and through nasty tunnels. I am impressed by your stamina and the distances you walk on many days so perhaps you should look at running a marathon when you get home – it’s just a matter of one foot in front of the other but landing midsole not heel to toe!! Ki o tsukete, ganbatte, Vicky

    • Hi Vicky, I enjoy occasional long days. It’s probably because I naturally walk quite fast so if I don’t have a reason to stop, the kilometres will build up. But you can plan your trip around much shorter distances.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.