Anyway, I don`t like doing things just because I am told to, but after a couple of weeks of listening to other people at the temples reciting the sutras, some in monotone, others quite melodic, and after talking to people about the sutras and doing a bit of research on the web and in my guidebook, I had started to join in, a bit nervously at first, in a very quiet voice. My guidebook has easy to follow instructions with all the characters in Roman alphabet, but I am supposed to be practising my Japanese too, so I bought books of the sutras today, in Japanese. My routine at each temple is constantly developing, I am still enjoying a quiet moment of reflection and meditation, but I have now also included reciting the sutras, even though I am probably getting the pronunciation all wrong; but I feel better for it, and the temple staff also seem happier.
My feet were quite sore today, the previous two day's walking had been tough and I had covered a lot of distance. The joints in the balls of my feet are aching. I thought I had passed through the 'blister stage', but two new blisters have suddenly appeared. I think I have become a bit smarter now though: straight after Temple 79 I went to my hotel, it was too early to check in, but I have found that hotels are happy to let me dump my bags, and then I walked, with a much lighter step, to Temple 80. After Temple 80 I then backtracked (on the train) all the way back to the hotel, from where it will be much easier to approach the next temple tomorrow morning, I think I saved about a 2hour / 9km walk. At Temple 80 there was a 'mini pilgrimage' within the temple grounds, consisting of 88 shrines/statues/marker posts, representing each of the 88 Temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Maybe this is for the busy Salaryman who cannot take a couple of months off work to complete the 'full size' pilgrimage.
- Distance walked today = 18.6km
- Distance walked so far = 730.8km
- Temples visited today = Temple 78; Goushouji, Temple 79; Tennouji, Temple 80; Kokubunji.
- Kouban visited today = nil
- Accommodation = Hotel and breakfast ￥5,640, Hotel New Century, Sakaideshi, Kagawaken 〒762 0003
- Expenditure today = three Temple Stamps ￥900, food for evening and snacks / lunch tomorrow ￥1642 , two books of Sutras from Temple 80 ￥1050, train from Kokubu Station near Temple 80 back to Sakaide City for the hotel ￥210, plasters ￥399.
- Settai = while walking between Temples 79 and 80 a lady drove past me in her car, then stopped suddenly and ran over to give me a ￥500 coin.