Please start at Day One

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Day 8 - Temple Stamps and Large Dinners

Breakfast was very early, we were finished by 6am, and I was outside shortly afterwards, walking in the chilly morning air. I stopped at one of the roadside vending machines to buy a can of hot coffee, mainly to warm up my hands. A man who stopped at the same machine handed me 5 small oranges as a gift.

Temples 20 and 21 today are both mountain temples, difficult to reach, but well worth it, with impressive scenery. The ladies in the Temple Stamp office at Temple 20 were very chatty when they found out I was from England. One of them explained the three pieces of calligraphy that they write on each page. The central piece, which they always do first, is the name of the Buddhist deity associated with the temple, the upper right hand side piece is an acknowledgement that I have visited the temple to offer my respects, the lower left hand side piece is the name of the temple. The other lady told me that she had a Yorkshire Terrier and that she would like to visit Yorkshire, however, a bus party then turned up which meant they were suddenly very busy and our chat was over.

The evening meal in the ryokan was a lavish affair. A large dining room, with no chairs, but cushions set at inviduals tables for the men on one side of the room, and at two large communal tables for the ladies on the other side of the room. 
There is an art to sitting cross-legged while wearing a Yukata, and not embarrassing the people sitting opposite. I counted at least 15 items on my table: rice bowl and rice 'bucket' with lid on, tea cup and pot, miso soup bowl, dish with konnyaku (a jelly-like food made from devil's tongue starch), chawan-mushi (a custard type dish  steamed in a tea-cup - but usually containing shrimp or chicken etc - I left mine), dish with fruit, another with grated yam, a separate one for tempura, for tofu, for some okra, for steamed vegetables, a bowl of cucumber and wakame (seaweed) salad, some pickles....

Having sent the iPad away, I am now without an alarm clock, so I knocked on the door of the chap next to me and asked him to give me a shout in the morning in time for breakfast. He looked very confused but eventually agreed. When I returned to my room and checked my electronic dictionary I realised I have confused the verb for "to shout / to call", with the verb for "to swim", so maybe he thinks I want to go swimming with him at 05:30 tomorrow morning.
  • Distance walked today = 24k
  • Distance walked so far = 126.6km
  • Temples visited today = Temple 20, Kakurinji; Temple 21, Tairyuuji.
  • Koban visited today = 1 visit to Koban between Temples 19 and 20, in town of Katsuura, but no one home.
  • Accommodation = ryokan including dinner and breakfast ¥6615,  Sakaguchi Ya, Anan City, Tokushima-ken, 〒771-5173
  • Expenditure today = two temple stamps ¥600, can of coffee ¥120, decent batteries ¥336, vitamin drink ¥150
  • Settai = oranges

今日訪れた交番:19番目と20番目の寺の間にあった交番 勝浦町で。 無人。
今日の出費:2寺分の御印 600円、缶コーヒー 120円、電池 336円、ビタミンドリンク 150円、旅館(夕・朝食付)6615円

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