Please start at Day One

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Day 29 - Five Star Hotel

Back in the saddle this morning after my rest yesterday. Nothing really remarkable happened today, or if it did I didn`t notice. There was a buffet breakfast at last night`s hotel so I "filled up" for the whole day, walked to Temples 52 and 53, then took a train journey of about 40 minutes and walked a bit more to Temples 54 and 55. I met a few other Henro, a local farmer near Temple 52 Taisanji gave me three oranges as O Settai (a gift or assistance to a pilgrim), then I looked for a hotel with internet access, seven hotels didn`t have a PC, the eighth one did. The calligrapher in the Stamp Office at Temple 55 had given me a map with a very expensive hotel nearby, which was not in my guide book, probably as most Henro are on a tight budget, but this pilgrimage should not all be about sacrifice hardship and austerity, I am on holiday too. The price of a single room only was ¥10,914 but the reception clerk told me they did a special "Henro Deal", I don`t know if this was true or if she was just doing me a favour, but she gave me the room, a pass for the open air spa bath (usually ¥1,050 extra) and also a pass for breakfast (usually ¥1,500 extra) all for ¥9,000. I have already got my money`s worth as some of my socks are starting to fall apart but there was a sewing kit in the room for me, there was also a brush and a comb but I won`t be needing those. The hotel is a huge building which towers over the city of Imabari. The hotel is really a small village, with a gym, swimming pool and various shops and restaurants inside.

At Temple 53 Enmyouji this morning, there was a small hidden Christian statue at the side of one of the halls within the temple grounds. This was for Christians secretly to worship during the time when Christianity was prohibited in Japan. I haven`t translated the notice yet, but I understand the carving on the stone was made to look like a Buddhist saint or deity, but is actually the Virgin Mary.

  • Distance walked today =  19.4km
  • Distance walked so far = 562.3km
  • Temples visited today = Temple 52; Taisanji, Temple 53; Enmyouji, Temple 54; Enmeiji, Temple 55; Nankoubou.
  • Kouban visited today =  nil
  • Accommodation = "Henro Deal" ¥9000,  Hotel Imabari Kokusai, Imabari City, Ehimeken 〒794 8522
  • Expenditure today =  train ticket from Iyo-wake near Temple 53 to Oonishi near Temple 54 ¥640, four Temple Stamps ¥1200, PC rental ¥300, mouthwash, evening food and sake ¥1619, an extra can of Japanese Kirin lager from the hotel room`s mini-bar ¥300.
  • Settai = three oranges, "Henro Deal" at hotel

1 comment:

  1. Well I thought you ought to know that I think you took on quite the adventure in going around Shikoku the way you are doing and you can find links to your blog, and flickr on my page.
    I wish you the best of luck and I hope you have a continued safe trip.
    Feel free to check it out