DAY 17 愛媛/伊予 菩提的道場 -5- Ehime Prefecture
The Moris prepared plentiful breakfast for me and Mr Nakagawa, including rice-balls as our lunch. Thanks for Ohenro pilgrimage connected with our relationship. God blessed our safe journey, but we still lost our direction between Taisan-ji (#52 太山寺) and Enmyo-ji (#53 圓明寺). Suddenly I was tired of waking up so early and just cycling all day long, I didn't really wanna ride so apace, it was time to slow down... But no matter how anxious I was, seeing the temple always can make me peace.
Taisan-ji (#52 太山寺) was surrounding by the widely fields. Here a long slopes from parking lots to the Main Hall where we had to go on foot. The most remarkable one in Taisan-ji (#52) is the building of Main Hall. It was built in 1305 and designated as National Heritage in Japan. I envied Japan Government know how to preserve their heritage well, because I thought of the repair of MAZU Temple (Tian-Hou Temple 天后宮) in my hometown PENGHU. According to the historical document, Mazu Temple was built in 1604 before, but you won't feel it look like 400 years -old when you see its present appearance.
The introduction is very interesting about Enmyo-ji (#53 圓明寺). Here came a professor from Chicago University who found the earliest nameslip of pilgrim in 1921. Also some Christians will visit this temple for the totem of Jesus's mother.
We departed from Matsuyama City after we got the stamp of Enmyo-ji (#53 圓明寺). On our way to Imabari City (今治市) via Route 347 and Route 196. The traffic into Imabari was pretty busy. Imabari is a kind of big city in Shikoku because it is merely eighty kilometers far from Onomichi (尾道) of Hiroshima Prefecture (廣島縣). There is a bridge which connected with Shikoku and Honshu. That is a reason why these Routes is much busy.
I can enjoy the sea view again while I was in this Route, this area is called as Seto Naikai (瀨戶內海). Heaps of islets and the colour was light blue one in Seto Naikai, but I still prefer the sea view of Pacific Ocean in Kochi Prefecture. We had a lunch in Road House : Kazahaya-no-sato (風早之里), I like the Road House / Michi-no-eki in Japan pretty much, so wonderful place for traveler!
Mr Nakagawa led me to Imabari City about at 16 o'clock, and we visited Enmei-ji (#54 延命寺), it was so pity that Enmei-ji (#54) was repairing and building then. Nankobo (#55 南光坊) was behind the Imabari Station, Nankobo is not really old appearance of temple because here ever destroyed in the 2nd World War.
When I entered this stamp office, the staff suddenly asked me "Are you from Taiwan?" in Japanese. I was so surprised because I had not speak any words yet! This is still a mystery because I don't know how to ask him (how do you know I am from Taiwan?) in Japanese Language. This staff was very nice and passion, he also wrote my Chinese name put in another slip to me actively, and very willing to let me take him a picture.
Mr Nakagawa stayed his relative's house tonight, so I went to a guest house "CYCLO NO IE" just next to Imabari Station (今治驛). Stayed too many Japanese mishuku so far, I definitely miss this kind of accommodation. (Most important, the staff can speak English~~Weeping~~~) Making me miss my backpacker life in Australia, by the way, hostels in Japan is much cleaner than Australia.
I heard here is a pretty popular cycling track calls Shimanami (島波海道), and another 88 temples henro in this track between Onomichi (尾道) and Imabari (今治). "You can consider it next time!" The guest house staff suggested me sincerely, "Shimanami Henro is much easier and shorter, sounds great?" "Oh, yeah... sounds great..." I replied weakly, "Will see, however!"
I was very excited to stay this lodge tonight. Here came a Korean / Mr Lee who can talk me in very fluently English. He told me that he was delegated to Imabari then, but his Japanese was not good enough so it was not easy to find someone can talk with him. "A little bit lonely in Imabari." Hence, he would come this hostel frequently for meeting more people from overseas, cyclo no ie was a good place to find foreigners, like me. (ha~
We talked about our history, Mr Lee was surprised that our monthly payment (Like ￥100,000 in Taiwan). He ever mentioned of Asian four dragons, curious why our salary is so terrible? (Before I thought only Taiwan media like mentioning the past title) Adjusting his imagine: Taiwanese doesn't really respect Chiang Kai-Shek (蔣介石) as before anymore! (Big misunderstanding!) In the end, we murmured at why every time we asked Japanese something in English, they still reply us in Japanese!!?