88 Temple Pilgrimage. Day 4:
After covering a span of 5 temples over 9K, my guide, Mika, had to return home to Kobe and left at Temple 17 via bus.
So I carried on alone through urban area of Tokushima for 20K to Temple 18, Onzanji. I speak no Japanese so this might be a challenge but my Hakue identifies me as a monk and people are quick to offer help when I ask for directions and such. And I have my Guidebook and the Ohenro App with GPS so I am not too concerned.
An interesting story about this temple, Kobo Daishi, the founder of this pilgrimage was staying here in 800’s and his mother came to visit but was barred as women were not allowed. So he performed an esoteric rite for 17 days and was able to successfully stop this restriction and bring her on temple grounds.
So with Mika gone I walked on to TempleAfter Temple 18 a local couple guided me to a hard to find path through a beautiful bamboo forest.
And they stopped at a small house and asked for an osettai of oranges which they gave to me. I think it may have been his father. Such friendly people and similar to Spain and The Camino where locals are so kind and generous to pilgrims.
Finishing a 35K day feeling tired but am coming to love the ritual of a long hot bath and then dressing in a Yukata before relaxing with a pot of green tea before dinner. Missing Mika.