DAY 13 愛媛/伊予 菩提的道場 -1- Ehime Prefecture
Our condition was pretty great this morning, thanks for many up-hills in Route 56. But I suddenly found our walking times became more frequent than before. I remembered I always tried hard while I faced the steep way at the beginning, was unwilling to give up cycling easily, now I had changed. Probably I didn't think it was a good idea to spend so much energy in morning time. Kept my tempo, it didn't mean I would stop my pace.
Over Ipponmatsu Tunnel (一本松隧道), we across the border of prefecture, we were at Ehime (愛媛), eventually I took 8 days and 7 nights to graduate from Kochi (高知)- The Place of Ascetic!
2 hours later, we arrived Kanjizai-ji (#40 觀自在寺) at 9 o'clock. The main gate of Kanjizai-ji (#40) looks very narrow, the buildings stood both sides, just one small lane toward the entrance, actually the area of Kanjizai-ji (#40) is very widely inside. People could find some places for overnight easily in this temple, the Minshuku was close to here, and temple also offered the accommodation.
Even we finished the mission in Kanjizai-ji (#40), we cannot take a rest today. Here were more 50 KM to Uwajima City (宇和島市) had to go, we needed to overcome continuous slopes and tunnels for reaching the next destination, the following temples Ryuko-ji (#41 龍光寺), Butsumoku-ji (#42 佛木寺) and Meiseki-ji (#43 明石寺) were all located at the hills area... However climbing the hills was tomorrow schedule, I didn't want to worry about it today, the first matter was going ahead Uwajima City.
We found an obviously Roadhouse : ゆらり內海 at Route 56 in Ainan Town (愛南町). Mr Nakagawa proposed having a lunch here. Customarily, we ate rice ball or lunch box which were bought from convenient stores. But today liked changing mood to eat something luxuriously, I also felt not bad! I really recommend that visitor can come to this spot, food is tasty, here also offers hot springs, indeed a nice road house to relax.
Our paces seemed be slower after lunch. Cause the meals we ate too much, and I always ate like a horse during my henro pilgrimage. After we passed the Matsuo Tunnel (松尾隧道, 3.8 KM), the whole view of Uwajima City Central appeared in front of my eyes, we had a long distance up hill way, and it would be more flat when we approached the CBD.
Here was a Japanese Castle in Uwajima (宇和島), Date Masamune (伊達政宗) was one of the famous owner in this castle. You might pay ￥300 for the ticket to visit this castle, I didn't think this was huge one, Uwajima Castle was much smaller than Matsuyama Castle which I ever visited in 2013 autumn. But I still had to climb many stairs in this castle, I shall feel fresh because the reason of stairs climbing was not for temples again.
I stood the top of castle and saw the view of Uwajima. Uwajima was not a big and crowded city, all the city area was surrounded by the green mountains, it looked so nature and peaceful. When we left this castle, we met a gentleman. That man showed his picture was taken in the Okubo-ji (#88 大窪寺) , he ever done Shikoku Ohenro by cycling as well~! (I liked this picture, so I talked to myself to take the same one too!) In the end, he gave us citrus, (people in Shikoku always liked to give citrus...) I really felt it was embarrassing to reject their kindness, even their gifts was so heavy.
After we went to supermarket for buying our supper and breakfast tomorrow, Mr Nakagawa gave me ￥1000 and told me this was "Osetaii" from a lady who had a chat with him just now. I was so sorry that I didn't take a photo with that kind lady... This lady was a shikoku pilgrim long time ago, her gift encouraged me to embracing the following 48 temples challenges. As a result, I was sure that I wanted to come Shikoku again, because I was eager to cheer up those pilgrims in the future!