DAY 6 高知/土佐 修行的道場 -1- Kochi Prefecture
The distance between Yakuo-ji (#23 藥王寺) to Hotsumisaki-ji (#24 最御崎寺) is eighty something kilometers, I took the whole day in Route 55, such a long journey! My travel mate and me was lucky that it was nice and clear weather. The road along the ocean to Cape Muroto (室戶岬) is exactly marvelous blue. The scenery is like the sky and sea combined together, I admired the amazing view at the first, but the capes continued to the following capes looked ceaseless, I felt a little disgust by degree in the end~~
Actually I still enjoyed the view of Route 55, some of parts here let me think of the Great Ocean Road in Australia, but the Route 55 coast line maybe is tenderer one.
The port looks like the landmark in every village, people lives in this coastline mostly seems fisherman, some tourists would love to come here for whales jumping. I feel the landscape of Kochi (高知) is similar with Eastern Taiwan; one side is a series of mountains and other side is Pacific Ocean, also similar situation as residents, who are composed of old men and children mostly.
Here we could see a lot of walking pilgrims on the Route 55. Walking pilgrim usually takes this journey apart two days for finishing. When we were approaching to the walkers, my travel mate must greeted "Hello!" or "Take care!" to these pilgrims even just a passerby. This was a traditional greeting way for Shikoku pilgrims, I like this kind of greeting as well. People would be so close for the same goal.
Even Route 55 is not very steep, the distance between villages is not short at all. It is very rough about the supplement of water or food, especially for walking pilgrims, they also have to care about the transportation passing. Kochi Prefecture is absolutely The place of ascetic training. But as far as I am concerned, Route 55 is very suitable for cycling!
We arrived at a famous tourist spot - Mikurado at 3 p.m., KUKAI ever stayed this cave and pondered over the Buddhism 1200 years ago. Here was nothing in 1200 years ago but the wind and waves. And the cave was so wet inside, according to the book "Shikoku 88 Route Guide", he changed his original name to KUKAI when he opened his eyes and only saw the Sky and Sea from this cave/Mikurado. (In Japanese Kanji, KU is 空 means Sky, KAI is 海 means Sea.)
Kept riding for a while, we arrived at the bottom of Hotsumisaki-ji (#24 最御崎寺) Hill. Suddenly my feeling was really like "Are you kidding me?" Because I thought I was so tired, I still had to walk the 700 meters hill track to the temple. The stamp office only left 30 mins to close while we saw the Main Gate finally. I almost rode all day, from morning to sunset.
I did feel exhausted while I arrived at the Minshuku Kawasaki (川崎民宿) where is more 3.3 KM from Hotsumisaki (#24). Minshuku Kawasaki is cheap accommodation, just ￥3500 for one night without meal. But Cape Muroto is very countryside place, the owner's granddaughter told us here was no shops around our lodging, therefore Mr Nakagawa and me was annoyed for the dinner. I was so upset that we had to ride another 2 KM to the supermarket again (Return is 4 KM) .... At this moment, the owner said she was willing to bring us to the supermarket by car, my mind went to burst into tears~~ She helped me a lot!
By the way, my Korean friend Min who we worked together in Australia contacted with me today. Now she stayed her relative's house in Kagawa, so she asked me "Will you come to Kagawa Prefecture?", " Do we have chance to catch up?" She also mentioned I came Shikoku for Ohenro she was so surprised! Haha~~ In fact, not only her, other my Japanese friends were surprised as well~ I was pretty glad to hear she was also in Shikoku then. I expected to meet her very much after I finished all the journey of pilgrimage, kept in faith!