- Distance walked today = 24k
- Distance walked so far = 285.7km
- Temples visited today = Temple 29, Kokubunji; Temple 30, Zenrakuji; Temple 31, Chikurinji.
- Koban visited today = not really a Koban, but I visited a van full of traffic police at the roadside in Kamohara, visit to Takasu Koban near to Temple 31.
- Accommodation = Hotel and breakfast ￥3800, Hotel Sun Atlas, Kochi City, Kochi-ken 〒780-0822
- Expenditure today = three temple stamps ￥900, bottle of Pocari Sweat ￥150, stamps for 10 postcards ￥700, evening snacks (including Japanese lager and Sake) ￥1700, cream for Mizumushi (athletes foot) ￥1980 .
- Settai = sweets from the calligrapher in the Temple 30 Stamp office, cold drink at Takasu Kouban.
Monday, 14 March 2011
Day 14 - Traffic Cops
On the road to Temple 30 I saw a man in plain clothes, sitting at the side of the road with what looked like a small speed-camera and a radio. Sure enough, about 100m up the road was a van full of uniformed officers handing out speeding tickets. I had my photo taken with one of the officers, he was wearing a face mask, as were a couple of the other officers. I still haven`t quite got used to seeing them, I have seen Japanese people wearing them on the tube in London, and they are very common here, but we would not be allowed to wear them in London.
I stopped on the way to Temple 31 to visit Takasu Kouban and had my photo taken with officer Matoko-san, he gave me something cold to drink. I am not what it was, but it was very cold and refreshing on what had turned out to be a hot sunny afternoon. This was the first day that I have walked in just my t-shirt and the Hakui (traditional pilgrims` white vest), and the top of my head and my nose started to get a bit sun-burned so I relented a wore the Sugegasa (the conical sedge hat). I only wore it for a few minutes after buying it at Temple 1 before I found it too annoying, the top of my rucksack kept banging against the back of the hat so I took it off and strapped it to the back of the rucksack. However, this afternoon it became a very practical piece of clothing, all the Japanese Henro have been wearing theirs everyday.
The path to Temple 31 Chikurinji (Bamboo Forest Temple) was beautiful, it passed though Makino Botanical Gardens on the outskirts of the city of Kochi. After Temple 31 I had decided to finish for the day and get a hotel in Kochi city centre, about 2 or 3km away, I heard another English voice so asked the chap for advice (I really need to remember to ask for people`s names). He had just graduated BA in Religious Studies - major in Buddhism - and was halfway through a four week visit to Japan, he said my idea to stay in Kochi for an extra day was a good idea as Kochi is a cool city. He was getting a bus into the city centre, but it was about ￥900 so I decided to walk it, and wandered around until I found a hotel with internet access.
As I was at the computer, uploading photos, updating the blog, and replying to a load of "are you ok?" emails, one of the hotel employees was looking at my photos. Sogen-san, gave me a bead and crystal amulet which (if my Japanese is any good) he said he made himself, and also gave me his name slip which was a colour printed one. I think this is a modern version of the brocade name slips used by people who have completed the 88 Temple Pilgrimage more than one hundred times. He told me that by bus, by bicycle and walking, he had completed over a hundred circuits.