DAY 24 香川/讚岐 涅槃的道場 -5- Kagawa Prefecture
I packaged my belongings as every morning I did, then downstairs to the ground had a breakfast with other henro pilgrims. Those pilgrim some by walking, some by driving, and just me or Mr Nakagawa by cycling. All of them had a good chat time. Although I didn't understand what they say, I could read their faces were full of satisfied and peace. Every one looked so easy, probably just for the same one reason: "We are almost there! The 88th temple."
When we checked out from Takayanagi Ryoken (高柳旅館), began to toward the last destination of Mr Nakagawa and my journey, I never seen the sky was so blue before. The sun light was so shining as well, the blue sky would accompany me until the end, I gonna complete my wish right away.
According to lodging information, Shido-ji (#86 志度寺) has more accommodation choices than Yakuri-ji (#85 八粟寺), the temple was covered with the trees and leaves, and the big pagoda was remarkable. Next one is Nagao-ji (#87 長尾寺), where is located on the widely plain, you can see the whole temple area like Main Hall, Daishi Hall and Stamp Offices, Nagao-ji (#87 長尾寺) is widely as a park in the horizon.
Before on your way to the Mt. Nyotai (女體山). I will suggest you visit Ohenro Koryu Salon at Route 3, just next to Roadhouse / Michi-no-eki Nagao. This Salon was established by NPO Henro Association of Kagawa, displaying the henro pilgrims' gears or garments since the past to the present. Besides, they would love to give you one all-done certification for Shikoku Pilgrimage, it is free! I got one so I became an ambassador of cycling Ohenro, and that is a main reason I built this website!
"This is the last challenge." I saw the long-uphills in front of the Roadhouse Nagao. Okubo-ji (#88 大窪寺) would appear after we across 2 rises.
Experienced 24 days cycling, finally I roached the 88th temple. Suddenly I though Route 3 should not the only way be called "The way to complete your wish"; the way to complete my wish was contained every route I ever been since the first temple.
The ambiance in Okubo-ji (#88) was particularly relaxing, I couldn't describe well... Everybody was smiling all the time, and I was smiling , too. I wish time could stop this moment, so that I could keep moving in my mind longer and longer. Whatever, there is no never-ending story.
Time to say good-bye with my best partner Mr Nakagawa. He planned to go back Ryozen-ji (#1 靈山寺) in Tokushima Prefecture today, then took a ferry to Mt Koyasan (高野山), he did a standard ending as a true ohenro san/pilgrim. As far as I was concerned, I would back Takamatsu City in adversely direction. I would appreciate Mr Nakagawa sincerely, he was the most kind people I ever met so far, he took care of me a lot, just like my grandfather in Japan. My pilgrimage was too lucky and too successful to believe, I even couldn't imagine this pilgrimage without him, I will miss these delicious meals he treated me forever!
I searched the Couchsurfing Website and contacted my staying in Takamatsu City. Approximately 30 KM returned from Okubo-ji (#88) alone, time seemed return the first day I came to Japan. Many things were stuffed into my mind, the world was so quiet suddenly that I couldn't hear anything clearly anymore.
Eventually, I went away the routine of Ohenro, arrived at the Central Park in Takamatsu City, reunited with my Korean friend who I knew in Australia, to end this journey by a proper way.
Okubo-ji (#88) under the blue sky without clouds, it has been my last impression on Shikoku Henro.