JAPAN 88 TEMPLE PILGRIMAGE Day 6

Kitamura, my host, explained at breakfast he messed up and my walk was too long at over 40k so he said he would drive me to Yuki City. I intially said “No” but then thought I should accept his gift and so I walked to Temple 22, Byodi and he picked me up at 7:40 with my pack and drove me to Yuki.

Entrance Gate to Temple 22, Byodo-ji. Note the two figures in windows on either side of entrance.
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The one on my left has his mouth open indicating first breath or new life.
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The figure on right has his mouth closed indicating last breath or end of life.

On the way to Yuki he pointed out a tree that is 1200 years old and legend is it started with a stick Kobo Daishi stuck in the ground while sleeping here. He also gave me my osettai (gift) lunch which I gratefully accepted:

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After he dropped me off near Shikoki’s southern coast, I walked to the sea(Pacific Ocean) which is always special when on pilgrimage or any long walk.

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The area there was reminiscient of Camino del Norte on the northern coast of Spain.

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Made it to Uchizuma Minshuku( like a B&B with dinner also) on the sea and the dinner was the best so far; a small whole whitefish, sashimi, tempura, seaweed and pickled cucumber and octopus and a nice big strawberry and some kiwi slices.

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Talked to two Japanese Brazilian sisters about osettai they got from woman when a lodge they arrived at a few nights ago was full. The owners friend took them to her own guesthouse and gave them osettai of room, dinner and breakfast. A similarity with this pilgrimage and the Camino de Santiago is the stories of kindness and generosity.

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The interesting difference here in Japan is that the locals believe each pilgrim(ohenro) is walking with Kobo Daishi( the founder of Shingon Buddhism here in Japan 1200 years ago) and so offering an osettai to a pilgrim is also making the offering to a Saint.

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Nokyocho Temple 22 Stamp

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My Minshuku for the night
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Looking out my bedroom window

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View from Temple 22
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Favorite ritual at the temple is bonging the bell

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Happy to answer any questions and help in any way.