DAY 18 愛媛/伊予 菩提的道場 -6- Ehime Prefecture
Mr Nakagawa planned to checkup his lovely Giant bicycle this morning, here is one GIANT shop which opened in the Imabari Station (今治驛) inside, also offered the bike rental service, you didn't worry about anything if you wanna come Imabari for cycling Shimanami (島波海道). Money can solve many problems~
The Giant shop open hour is at 9 o'clock. I was a little glad because I didn't have to wake up so early as usual. Nevertheless, I still opened my eyes at 5 or 6 o'clock, it was fine so that I can enjoy this morning writing my itinerary and postcards to my friends. At the same time, my HK friend Wing who I knew on Day 4 , asked me to book this hostel- CYCLO NO IE for her, she would come Imabari by transportation this afternoon. Wing paused her Shikoku pilgrimage tomorrow for 1 month, but she would like to continue her Ohenro in June.
Suddenly I found my journey would end soon, I shall start to plan what's gift I can bring to my friend! Especially my university classmate Ya-Chiu Yeh, she supported me many bike gears when she knew I wanna come Japan for cycyling henro... What's more, she had much interesting in Shikoku Henro as well~~ So great to hear that, I decided to buy some stuff like maps or brochures, which was helpful for her to arrange the schedules. After finishing my Shikoku pilgrimage, I would be more confident on my another plan, cycling Taiwan Main Island~
Even we set off at nine something, we still ran fast before Senyu-ji (#58 仙遊寺). Senyu-ji (#58) is in the H 281m rise, the rise is not high but the road is steep. Therefore, we left our bikes in a hut where was nearby the entrance of hill. We also had to walk heaps of stairs to Senyu-ji (#58), that was a rough job.
Finally we arrived at Senyu-ji (#58 仙遊寺), this was not only one of the 88 temples, but also a well-known tourist spot. Looking over the whole view of Imabari City, their Shukobo ( temple staying) is pretty popular in Shikoku, you pay ￥6000 then they would provide Onsen (Hot spring) and meals to you. I guessed Mr Nakagawa must be very interested~
However, when I was eating my lunch (From Fami-Mart) in Senyu-ji (#58), I could realize by degrees why Mr Jasbir would say he wish walk slower next time after he finished his first Ohenro. Imabari is a fantastic city because I had a great time here, so I often think of this city even now.
I saw Kokubun-ji (#59 國分寺) this temple again in my pilgrimage, this one is the provincial temple in Ehime. The routine to the following temples seem be a little complicated, but you could find a lot of route information in the Stamp Office of Kokubun-ji (#59), both of walking and driving access included. Don't miss the statue of KOBO, many people would shake its hands and make a wish to it. Also you can touch the vase of Yakushi (藥師佛), as the story goes, this Yakushi could bless any kind of illness will be cured successful.
When pilgrims enter Saijo City (西条市), every document will suggest you pass Yokomine-ji (#60 橫峰寺) because it is located in the mountains, visit Kouon-ji (#61 香園寺), Hoju-ji (#62 寶壽寺) and Kichijio-ji (#63 吉祥寺) even Maegami-ji (#64 前神寺), those temples are in plain area in advance.
Kouon-ji (#61 香園寺) is a temple which in very modern style. (This building looked like the Pilgrims Hall in Taiwan.) The Main Hall is extremely huge, their statue and decoration inside is also very common in Taiwanese Temple. Besides, Kouon-ji (#61) also consecrates to Koyasu Daishi (伊安大師), the protector of children.
We didn't go to Maegami-ji (#54 前神寺) because the stamp office hour closed soon when we arrived at Kichiji-ji (#53 吉祥寺). Even though there was not very far. Next, we went to the Minshuku Komatsu (旅館小松) where was nearby Hoju-ji (#62 寶壽寺) and Iyo-Komatsu Station (伊予小松驛), this location is convenient for us to buy the supplement in supermarket. I am glad to stay here, I really like this street view where I saw from 3rd floor in this lodge, the sunset sprayed its light in the silent street was so tender, also connected with the outline of mountains perfectly.
This moment, I read Odili Lee's blog again. I wanna slack of tomorrow for no excuse. Two days cycling in plain are such as Matsuyama and Imabari, I didn't want to recall the nightmare like in Kuma-Kogen. So I planned to have a easy trip to Yokomine-ji (#60 橫峰寺), taking the shuttle bus! My all ambition gave Mr Nakagawa tomorrow, I could wake up at 7 o'clock then ride to Iyo-Saijo Station (伊予西条驛) for the shuttle bus to Mt Yokomine!