JAPAN DAY 45
Between Temple 64 & 65 25km
Total kms walked in Japan 964
Accumulative total of kms walk 4617
After a great night sleep in Hotel Eleeven today was a boring day walking along route 11 all day in the rain. The best thing was Macca’s for lunch.
Listened to Australian new today.
Walking was boring so started mucking around asked David did I look sexy he said no but I was very sexy. I asked him what made me sexy for him. Adventurous, funny smart
HIGHLIGHT: macca’s for lunch
LOWLIGHT: The accommodation tonight is very average and no good wifi signal.
JAPAN DAY 44
Temples 61-64. 16kms
Total kms walked in Japan 939
Accumulative total of kms walk 3592
Downhill from 60 easy through forrest and straight in the backdoor of 61 so we thought. Upon entering what we thought was the temple we found no one around ,further investigation we realised we weren’t in the right place.couldn’t find anyone so followed signs and found something that didnt look like a temple but was. Then they informed us that Temple 62 was no longer part of the official 88 but we could get our book stamped in the car park, a little miffed we made our way to the car park discussing what where we could do our prayers. When we came upon a demountable in the car park with a shrine on one side and the stamp office on the other Temple 62 prayer taken car of. Made our way to 63 very underwhelming a temple in the back yard of about 4 houses. Temple 64 was very impressive see pictures. We were suppose to spend the night as various blogs said there was an enclosed hut instead there was a carport and due to the weather we thought it best to keep walking. We had not budgeted for paid accommodation tonight but we have had to stay in a hotel so will be looking at some free option further down the trail.
HIGHLIGHT: Sleeping inside and comfortable whilst it is pouring down outside.
LOWLIGHT: There now only being 87 official temples
Grateful for having enough wriggle room in the budget as to not worry that we have to pay for a nights accomodation. Grateful for my new rain poncho kept me and my pack completely dry in the pouring rain. Grateful for the Spunky Rooster and all his patience coming down the hill today.
JAPAN DAY 43
Temple 60 20km
Total kms walked in Japan 923
Accumulative total of kms walk 3556
Todays little adventure was straight up a mountain, so although only 20km to walk we decided only to tackle temple 60. We had also read that the temple had a tarsardo so we could stay in the mountains overnight at the temple. With only 20 km to walk we decided that an 8.30am start would be ok as we didn’t want to get to the temple to early. When I woke I got up and headed down on my own for a coffee, something I haven’t done since early in our trip in New Zealand. Oh the bliss!! Being with The Spunky Rooster 24/7 is great but to have just a little time on my own was pure bliss. The coffee although not great touched the spot perfectly. Today was going to be a good day....
The walk up the hill was really picturesque, (the pictures don’t do it justice) and we took our time and enjoyed the scenery, stopping several times just to take in the atmosphere. It’s amazing as much as we say that every trek is all about the journey not the destination, how quickly you fall into getting from point A to point B mindset . On trail its is easy to get caught up in all the planning aspects of where you will sleep, what food you need, where are you going to get food, how many kilometres you will walk and you forget to stop and see the beauty around. I think life is like this as well you get busy creating a “life” that you forget to live. I glad that the trail has slowed us the luxury to slow down today and enjoy the journey. We need to put in place deliberate breathing cues. In life how do you make yourself stop and breath?
HIGHLIGHT: The scenery today, it was a really special walk.
LOWLIGHT: Nil today
JAPAN DAY 42
Temple 56-59. 26km
Total kms walked in Japan 903
Accumulative total of kms walk 3536
Today we covered 4 temples and 26km and the day just flew. All temples today where very similar except for 58 which was situated up a mountain. It was so erie walking up because there was a thick fog all the way and we couldn’t see the temple until we were in temple grounds. The path up was a steep rocky path that run along side a small creek but it was densely wooded so quiet dark very atmospheric. It threaten to rain all day but only a few little showers.
Tonight we are staying at a tarsardo at a shrine, when we arrived there was a old Japanese hero asleep on the floor after cleaning ourselves up and grabbing a bite to eat we sat down to chat with him (always a comical situation when him speak no English and we speaking noJapanese). Anyway we found out he was 73 and he was on his 110th pilgrimage. This dedication to a faith perplexes me. I so wished I could speak Japanese as I was so curious as to why. Did he find purpose from the pilgrimage? Did he feel obligated? Why oHenro why? I will never know. But I believe there are many henro’s that complete the journey several time.
HIGHLIGHT: Meeting the centurion hero.
LOWLIGHT: Not being able to speak Japanese so I could ask all the questions I was burning to ask the O’Henro
Grateful today for laughter and joking. The Spunky Rooster and I can really be playful with each other and today was one of those days, it makes it so much easier to cover the KM’s. Grateful for the weather holding, Japanese Summer is known for its rain so far we have been lucky only 1 really bad day. Grateful for our accomodation tonight although crowded it is dry and safe.
JAPAN DAY 40
Temples 52 & 53. 15km
Total kms walked in Japan 842
Accumulative total of kms walked 3480
Today we went back to work. Up early to catch the ferry back to Matsuyama and the Pilgrimage,
straight onto the trail when we stepped of the ferry up over a mountain track and straight in the backdoor of Temple 52. Both 52 & 53 where non descriptive temples and
When we went to Spain to do the Camino, David constantly kept reminding me that we were pilgrims not tourist and as I stood today praying for Humility it really struck home. We have had 2 glorious days travelling around Hiroshima and they were fun and light but without purpose. I think I am finally a pilgrim I enjoyed our days off, but the purpose and direction that a pilgrimage gives makes me feel alive. That is doubly true for this pilgrimage as there is a discipline of performing the mantra ritual at each of the temples, it doesn’t matter wether your tired, wet, hungry you have to do the prayers.
Today we prayed for humility and when I thought about it I really didnt understand what humility was. Did being humble make you are door mat? Did it mean you had low self esteem? So I started to do some reading and I believe that humility is understanding that every human is equally valuable and recognizing that you are worth no more or less than anyone else. Do you have humility? I asked myself, and I don’t think I have a lot of humility. So tomorrows prayers will be for humility again,. Again the pilgrimage has given me a gift, the gift of conscious awareness of my nature.
When someone gives you feedback do you react? Do you feel the need to justify or defend your position? If you do then you maybe like me and need to work on gaining more humility. When given feedback see if you can sit on it and just thank the person. Remembering that their opinion is neither better or worst than yours. Remembering that every bit of feedback can give you something.
HIGHLIGHT: Relaxing on the way back in the ferry, having nothing to do is a luxury .
LOWLIGHT: The temples today weren’t very impressed
Grateful for insights into myself and the pilgrimages giving me the opportunity to study and reflect on those insights. Grateful for the weather today the rain stayed away. Grateful for our accomodation tonight we have a little apartment basically to ourselves.
JAPAN DAY 39
What a contrast in days, today we did the whole tourist thing, jumped on at the city bus and took in all the sights then jumped on a ferry over to the island of Myrajima to take in Itsukushima Shrine and the famous O-Toriji gates. It was so lovely, very touristy but just nice to relax. For dinner tonight we headed into town to the Okonomi-mura ,street stalls rows upon rows of street stalls all selling okonomiyaki. (Japanese pancake see picture) and I tried the local plum wine. Tommorow we are up early to catch the ferry back to start walking.
HIGHLIGHT: The whole day it was relaxing and rejuvenating.
LOWLIGHT: Fighting with the Spunky Rooster about direction and him being right.
Grateful for being able to have fun with The Spunky Rooster. Grateful for my Okonomiyaki tonight it was delishes. Grateful to the universe for blessing me with the courage to take this chance and live with the freedom of being able to pick up and move at the drop of a hat.
JAPAN DAY 38
A day sightseeing in Hiroshima
At 8.15 am on August 6th 1945 the world changed forever. The city of Hiroshima fell victim to the worlds first atomic bomb. The entire city was virtually level and 140,000 life where lost.
Fast forward to today, we spent the morning walking through the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum . The museum and all its stories aim is to educate people of the horrific consequences of nuclear bombs, learn about peace and why it is important not to repeat such a tragedy again in the future. We then went to the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims and the Hall of Remembrance where the internal walls are made up of 140000 tiles to mark the number of victims who died due to the nuclear blast. They is also personal stories of some of the victims. Visited the Atomic Bomb dome. Which was approximately 160m from the hypo centre. This has been restored too as to remain exactly the same as it was after the bombing.
I can’t say this experience was enjoyable, it was confronting sad and very moving. I can’t believe that a race so intelligent and so emotionally wired could do something this horrific, and the sad thing is we continue to do atrocious things like this. We continue to treat each other cheaply even in our everyday lives we tend not to place importance on the people around us. I am so glad we made the effort to get to Hiroshima it certainly has open my eyes to how shocking this incident was.
HIGHLIGHT: The whole day was amazing in a sad way
LOWLIGHT: That this is actually history, real history. The real story about what we as a race think is OK.
JAPAN DAY 37
Temples 46, 47, 48, 49, 50 & 51 28kms
Total kms walked in Japan 827
Accumulative total of kms walked 2340
Today was one of those days that could have been both Heaven or Hell. Six temples, 29km and we have to be at the last temple by 5pm because we want to stay at the tsyaudo.......lots could go wrong. We set out this morning at 6am to try and knock over the 16.5km between 45 and 46 by morning-tea. Starting with a climb of 730m, luckily it was gradual and on the road so it was pretty easy. From the trig point it was down hill all the way into a beautiful rain forest. Arriving at temple 46 at 10.35am this set us up to achieve our goal. And achieve it we did, rocking into Temple 51 with 25 min to spare before they closed down for the day. Job well done Team Hobo :). The temple accomodation tonight is an abandon warehouse of some sort that they have put down tatami mats. We are here with 2 other Henro’s.
Todays prays were all about faith. Not just about religious faith but faith in ourselves and each other which started me thinking about the TV program we watched last night...Eposide 6 of The 100. 100 is a sci-fi drama set in the future where earth has been destroyed by nuclear war and the human races survival depends upon a colony of humans on a space “Ark”. However, the Ark’s oxygen system is broken beyond repair and all on the Ark will die of asphyxiation . The chief engineer wants to tell all of the occupants but the government of the Ark believes it will cause riots, the engineer believes that it will bring out the best in people. Eventually, the people find out about the dying system and 320 people volunteer to be put to death to give the rest of the population more time to find a solution. Have we as a race lost our faith in each other, do we always expect the worst from people rather than their best. It is easy to blame, religion, politics world economy for the outbreak of wars but is it simply we have lost faith in each other? So today I pray to have more faith in myself, more faith in my and The Spunky Rooster’s commitment to each other our our life together. I pray to have more faith in the people I love knowing in my heart of heart they are all good people. I pray for more faith in the universe and its plan for me, The Spunky Rooster and I know that whatever happens it happens not only for a reason but for the best. To end today I want to tell you about a sign post in everyone of the temples, a simple square post with the words ‘May Peace Prevail On Earth’. I think that these 5 words cut to the core of my pilgrimage.... For there to peace on earth, there has to be peace within each of us, to have peace we have to have faith. So tonight I pray for you my friends , pray for you to find your faith so you can have peace.
HIGHLIGHT: Completing today. The phobia of planning such a hard day and it working not just to plan but better. I was so joyful when we finished.
LOWLIGHT: The Spunky Roosters back is bit twingy tonight
Grateful tonight for this journey it has been a rollercoaster ride but has certainly made me think about life and all its complexities. Grateful for free wifi so I can have long chats to Sam. Grateful for good planning and great weather so we could achieve our goal today.
JAPAN DAY 36
Temple 45 24km
Total kms walked in Japan 799
Accumulative kms walked 2312
A really pleasant day with nice easy walk without our packs today. Walked through beautiful highland country.