DAY 16 愛媛/伊予 菩提的道場 -4- Ehime Prefecture
I was so happy after leaving Kuma-Kogen Town at 6:30 a.m.. Just needed to overcome the Misaka-Toge Pass (三坂峠) on H 700 m, you would start to enjoy a series of long down slopes in Route 33 from there to Matsuyama City (松山市). Mr Nakagawa told me that we can turn right when we approached on around H 300 M, there was a little way which was easier to arrive at Joruri-ji (#46 淨琉璃寺) ... I was unsure that was an easy way or not, because that way was so, so ,so steep! (And narrow)
Safely we left the mountain area at 8 o'clock. Compared with these days in mountain area, we got the stamp of Joruru-ji (#46), Yasaka-ji (#47 八坂寺), Sairin-ji (#48 西林寺), Jodo-ji (#49 淨土寺) and Hanta-ji (#50 繁多寺) very quickly, we even arrived at Ishite-ji (#51 石手寺) before midday. Getting the stamps in Matsuyama City was so relaxing, it was totally no problem for us to have enough time inward Imabari City (今治市), but it was unnecessary to do so rush.
The good point for pilgrims, temples in city area is easy to approach, but the temple is not as beautiful as in countryside. But that is not too bad, otherwise, I will spend too much time in taking pictures in each single temple. However, Ishite-ji (#51 石手寺) was the most unique one in Matsuyama City. According to "Sjikoku Japan 88 Route Guide" says, in the past, a wealthy man Emon Saburo (衛門三郎) regretted to do ill-mannered toward KUKAI . In order to see KUKAI again, he became the first pilgrim in reverse order, finally got KUKAI's forgiveness and was free from his sin at Ishite-ji (#51 石手寺). So here gathered more visitors in Ishite-ji (#51) than others in Matsuyama City.
In the beginning, I planned to stay a backpackers nearby Ishite-ji (#51). But Mr Nakagawa has a cousin brother who lived nearby Jodo-ji (#49 淨土寺) in Shokudo (土居), they were welcome us as Osettai. Suddenly I was a little nervous to visit Japanese home, anyway, I still interrupted their house with Mr Nakagawa.
Before we went to Shokubo, Mr Nakagawa had another date with his old friend. (Sorry I can't remember his name) That gentleman would like to treat us a lunch in Matsuyama City, I was glad but I can't understand why he wanna had a lunch in Taiwanese Restaurant with me? And I was pretty sure this was not a genuine Taiwanese Restaurant while I saw the menu. (Why here was RAMEN in menu??) However, this was still tasty one, probably here was genuine Taiwanese Restaurant in Japan style.
Suddenly I found one waiter can speak Chinese Mandarin accidentally, I was too excited so I spoke a lot of words to him. Unfortunately, he learned Mandarin for only 6 months, this was also his first time to hear my Taiwan Mandarin accent, so he can't understand what I said well. (He learn Beijing Mandarin accent.)
This moment, Mr Nakagawa's friend asked him as translator and inquired me many questions. I felt it is too difficult for this young waiter to do it. "Why do you wanna do Henro?", "Where do you live in Taiwan?", "What's your options in henro?" , "What do you study in university?" or "What's your job in Taiwan?"... Some questions were not easy to answer, I didn't think this waiter can translate well even though I replied in short and easy words as possible as I could. Well, this meal was my unforgettable memory.
Afternoon, Mr Nakagawa brought me to his cousin's House (The Mori Family). I took a nap first when Mr Nakagawa and his brother went to Dogo Onsen (道後溫泉), then greeted to Mr and Mrs Mori during dinner time. They ever did Ohenro by car before, so they wanna do Osettai to another Ohenro San. Thanks for another big meal today by Mrs Mori, I was surprised that I was able to eat so much in pilgrimage. I used all Japanese words what I knew to talk with Mr and Mrs Mori, because here was no translator this time. To sum up, this day the most exhausting matter was not cycling, was talking in Japanese instead....