DAY 5 德島/阿波 發心的道場 -5- Tokushima Prefecture
The weather would get better in those days. I decided to leave my sedge hat (Sugegasa) in this Minshuku based on the blowing of wind. The owner lady asked me to write my name on this hat, probably I will take it back one day.
On our way to Kakurin-ji (#20 鶴林寺) . Here were so many mountain-ways what was I never expected. Before I think mountain roads is enough in Shosan-ji (#12 燒山寺), I took easy too fast. Even if the distance was shorter than Shosan-ji (#12), the up slope and zigzag roads still made me weary. The view of way to Kakurin-ji (#20) let me impressed which was filled with terraced fields.
Approached to the bottom of Kakurin-ji (#20), the vehicle way was definitely too steep to ride for us, therefore we left bikes again near the entrance of walking path. (I still saw some cyclists who was try to ride in this vehicle way, you might do this challenge here.) The walking path to Kakurin-ji (#20) is also steep, we took about 2 hours to arrive at the main gate of Kakunri-ji (#20).
Here is still some distance between the main gate and the main hall, Kakurin-ji (#20) is very magnificent temple, here is worthy to visit even just for sightseeing. On the other hand, I can't image how did these monks solve the problem of communication and transportation? Kakurin-ji (#20) must be like a hidden place from the world in 1200 years ago..
Next, we walked down from Kakurin-ji (#20), riding along the Naka River to the Ropeway Station of Tairyu-ji (#21 太龍寺), it doesn't matter you chose Route 283 or Route 19. This Ropeway Station also combines with Roadhouse (Michi-no-eki/道之驛) : Washi-no-sato (鷲之里), so you can buy some souvenirs, food or drinks here. The driving pilgrims usually park their car in this Roadhouse and buy the return tickets of Ropeway to Tairyu-ji (#21).
The ticket of Tairyu-ji Ropeway is ￥1300 for one way, and ￥2470 for return, per 20 mins for one way it is very frequently. We bought the one way ticket because we were going to ride downhill from Tairyu-ji (#21) to the next temple. The good news is we don't need to pay any extra charge for our bicycles! When we sat in this Ropeway, here was a smiling lady guiding the surrounding of Tairyu-ji area with energy, but I was sorry that I couldn't understand, my Japanese was so limited.
Tairyu-ji (#21) is also called as "Western Koyasan", the area is the biggest one among the Shikoku 88 temples. KUKAI ever trained at here when he was young. (KUKAI stayed a lot of temples for training. ) I would love to stay Tairyu-ji longer, but we still had to depart for the next destination soon based on the reasons like time, money, weather, schedule... However, this is ohenro.
The slope from Tairyu-ji (#21) toward the Byodo-ji (#22 平等寺) is extremely, extremely, extremely STEEP! I have to emphasize on it, beware of your brakes please! Checking it works before you go down this slope. There were some chippings on this slope way. I remember I using the brake very long time and then felt my fingers is sorely. The road became more flat in Route 196, then changed the vehicle way to Byodo-ji (#22), spent about one hour totally.
Byodo-ji (#22 平等寺) is the temple where is surrounding by the fields. To be honest, I will prefer the temple in peaceful location after I climbed so many mountain roads. Some vendors were just in front of Byodo-ji (#22) , they would offer you the energy well. Here built one henro hut which looked luxuriously, I wish I could stay this hut overnight but the time was still early enough to the next temple.
Besides, we met a lady who ever gave us Osettai at the Onzan-ji (#18 恩山寺) yesterday. Mr Nakagawa had a highly conversation with her. I was glad and surprised as well, but I was so sorry that I couldn't remember her name.
There are two accesses to Yakuo-ji (#23 藥王寺). Mr Nakagawa said Route 25 is along the coast line which is more flat but much farther, so we choose Route 55, there were a little of slopes but can save much time, still arrived at Yakuo-ji (#23) in time before the stamp office closed.
Yakuo-ji (#23) is at the peaceful town Hiwasa (日和佐) where is near by sea. I was glad to stay here and enjoy this quiet scenery in Hiwasa.
It was very exciting matter for getting the stamp of Yakuo (#23)! It means that I finished the first prefecture in Shikoku Ohenro , and it was quicker than I expected. Toward the second prefecture - Kochi, I was very happy about it!
This night I stayed at a Zenkoyado - Zenin Yado Hashimoto where is next to the Roadhouse of Hiwasa. It seemed female only... so, Mr Nakagawa went to find another lodges..., sorry~~
The owner of Zenkoyado didn't smile when I saw him, I was a little of afraid, but he must be a kind person, he also offered me a nice supper. I just slept at the tatami room of restaurant, here are water, toilet, bedquilt, but no room for shower. You can go outside to find the public bath room, or ... ... ... give it up!
Then I went to the convenient store where in front of Hasimoto Restaurant, I met a lovely lady paid the bill for me, she said this was their tradition! I said thanked her and would like to take a photo of her, but she rejected. "Why not? Obasan is very beautiful!" I asked. "No, no, no,no! Obasan is not beautiful! Not beautiful!" She insisted. So I only can take her side of face, she is really beautiful woman I insist.