Please start at Day One

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Day 30 - GPS Tracker

I met an interesting chap called Hal in the hotel lift this morning, and had breakfast with him. I assumed he was American from his accent, but he is from Norway and visits Japan regularly with his work. Everyone I have met so far who speaks English, speaks with an American accent, and this includes Japanese, American (!), Austrian and now, Norwegian. Hal`s father has asked him to use a GPS tracking device since he returned to Japan after the earthquake and tsunami. Hal wears the device, and Hal`s father can log in online and see exactly where Hal is at anytime, anywhere in the world. Hal forgot to wear it the other day and his father could see that Hal did not make his usual journey to work which caused concern, Hal received a gentle reminder to wear his tracker!

On the approach to Temple 58 there was a sign saying it was just 100 metres away (actually it said 0.1km - the Japanese seem to prefer just Kilometres rather than Metres), and sure enough after 100 metres I saw the impressive main gate, with the two scary looking chaps. Fujji-san had told me that the one on the right usually has his mouth open while the chap`s on the left is closed, I have been checking this and so far he is right. Anyway, the front gate was deceptive, as had happened with a few temples already, because it is another kilometre of very steep paths and hundreds of steps before you reach the actual temple grounds. In Temple 58 I met a man that I seen about 40 minutes earlier at Temple 57 with a video camera, he told me he was making a DVD about the pilgrimage, he gave me a couple of discs of films he had made previously and took my email address, he said he will send me a copy of his new DVD when it is finished.

At Temple 59 a bus party of Henro arrived and they lined up to shake hands with this statue of Koubou Daishi (the Buddhist monk who lived 774 to 835 and founded this pilgrimage), a few of them also rubbed his head.
  • Distance walked today =  29.3km
  • Distance walked so far = 592.0km
  • Temples visited today = Temple 56; Taisanji, Temple 57; Eifukuji, Temple 58; Senyuuji, Temple 59; Kokubunji.
  • Kouban visited today =  I think I will have to give up on the police in this prefecture, Ehime. I buzzed at two small Kouban today but no one was home at either, which is fair enough. But early this morning near the large Imabari City police station I saw three smartly dressed officers strolling slowly along the road, and asked if I could take a photo of us together; but they said they were too busy, I have some colleagues like that too. There have been occasions on duty when I have been rolling around on the floor with a violent person but people have still come to ask me for directions and I have had to politely tell them that I am too busy. However, I will always pose for the camera when a tourist asks me.
  • Accommodation =   Hotel including breakfast ¥5900, Terminal Hotel Toyo, Nyuugawa, Saijo City, Ehimeken 〒799 1353
  • Expenditure today = four Temple Stamps ¥1200, incense from Temple 56 ¥400, gifts at Temple 57 ¥1000, bento lunch ¥395, evening food and sake ¥    .
  • Settai = DVD`s from film-maker at Temple 57, hot lemon drink outside main hall at Temple 57.

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