Some time ago in Hamburg Germany

Some time ago in Hamburg Germany.
Chilly windy sunny day, I have decided to go for a walk.
There are lots of interesting but lifeless modern buildings, along the river. At one of them I have spotted a man.

Here is the story.
A Stardestroyer had an emergency landing to the planet earth, harbour in Hamburg. The reason is top secret.
The man is an officer of the ship who does not know anything about top secret mission, and actually he does not care. He enjoys the polluted air of his home planet. Long time ago, he has left here for promised stable job with dream of traveling all over the Galaxy. It was one way ticket, no way back, and he never thought coming back. However after so many years, although he is in good position as an officer, traveling around the galaxy as he wished, he’s been bored of seeing space and eating perfectly healthy meals cooked by asian speaking chef droid, and he thought about running away. Now an opportunity, an emergency landing to his home planet, he just needs to jump on to the small landing boat but there are lots of Spanish or French speaking droids, german speaking stormtroopers, and lots of surveillance Cameras. Does he make it?
To be continued…

No that’s the end of the story, I went back after being blown by chilly wind of Hamburg.

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Chilly, fresh Koya mountain, The Sunlight was clearing up the morning mist. There are lots of temples but the ultimate place is Okunoin. Walking in line with other people like the lights and fog in the forest, in between large cider trees and mossy grave stones.
I got stamped on the last page. There aren’t the right way or the certain way. However there are many ways, and I could chose one at a time.
Getting down the mountain, and back to 33 days after of myself.

26.11.2016

高野山、肌寒く心地いい、たくさん寺があるが、最終目的地は奥の院、多数の参拝、観光客と杉の大木と苔むした墓石の間を霧と光のように列になってゆらゆらと進む。最後のページに納経してもらう。確かな道、正しい道といったものはなく様々な道があるだろが一回に一つの道しか選べない。山を降りて33日後の自身に戻る。

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I didn’t feel that it was my last day in Shikoku, in the morning when I was heading to the 86th temple. The road to the gate was surrounded by white wall, once walk through the gate, there is an interesting Garden. Most of the temples have rather emptied space, usually well swept or well maintained gardens. However here, there are many rather wildly grown trees and unswept coloured leaves on the floor, giving charm to this temple. I enjoyed walking through to find  different buildings.As I had done the last 31days, I was thinking of direction, and calculating the distance and time, then just walked as fast as I could. After the 87th, I had quick visit to the pilgrims exchange salon as a typical first timer Ohenro, there I have asked differences of three passage to the 88th, and received honorable paper which proving that I have walked all the way, then quickly saw the exhibition the history of Ohenro. It was tough all the way to here, but 100 years ago was even more difficult as there were no clear signs and maps nor good equipments? However this was clearly showing that, for the last 1,200 years so many people had done this, therefore I knew that I could also do this and finish.

The route to the 88th, which I picked was the shortest one of course? It isn’t traditional rout and very steep one. Just before getting into the mountain road I thought that it must have been not that bad, back in those days, there were no horrible feet burning asphalt which now covers 90% of pilgrims path. Then after I entered concentration to the walk. The very last part before the top was little bit dangerous small rock climbing. At the top, I stopped while to cool down my self and looking back where I came from, 770m which isn’t that high but literally I walked all the way up from almost 0m of the sea level. To the last 88th temple is slightly down from the top, gradually I started feeling and understanding of the end. It is quiet and calm, very opposite of the first temple or some other busy temples. After getting the last stamp in Shikoku I waited bus quietly. 32 days, walking pilgrimage costs the most. However it didn’t really matter if it took another day or two, I could see interesting things more slowly. Advance faster and saving money and ending earlier isn’t the aim. Either spending more money and time or not, the end is the end. Money and Time are factors coming from out side of the pilgrimage and it only exists in our heads. I took another bus to cross the channel.

25.11.2016
86志度寺
87長尾寺
88大窪寺

大阪 東急INN
22.6km

今日が四国で最後の日であるという感覚は朝出る時はまだそれほどなく、86番志度寺に向かう。白い塀に囲まれた道から門をくぐると素敵な庭になっている。多くの寺の境内はがらんとしているか、また庭は丁寧に手入れされていてそれほど魅力を感じないが、ここは木が多く生え、ある程度野放しにされていて魅力的である。本堂、納経所などすぐにわからなくても散策してみようかという気にさせられた。いつもながら時間と距離の計算、どちらの道を行くか考えて、ただただ国道をなるべく早く歩く。最初のお遍路の恒例通り、お遍路交流サロンに立ち寄る、88番まで三つある道の違いを聞き、館内の展示、お遍路の歴史を見る。ここまで色々と大変であったが、100年前のお遍路は道標、地図、装備など今とは違う。1200年間多くの人が歩いてきたのだから、自分も歩けると確信できる。

そこから選んだ道は最短距離、昔はなかったルートで一番斜度がある。山道に入る前にふと思う、アスファルトが無い以前は逆にもっと歩きやすかったにちがいない、あとは記憶がなくなるほど山歩きに集中する最後はちょっと危険な岩登り。足を止めて体を頂上の風で冷ます、標高770m大して高くないと思うがほぼ海抜ゼロから開始した今来た道をぼうっと眺め、そこから僅かな下りで88番大窪寺に向かう。最後の寺、少しづつ終わりを考え実感する。いたって静か落ち着いている、一番霊山寺や、途中の栄えた寺とは違う、納経を済ませてバスを待つ。

32日、歩き遍路が一番時間がかかり旅費がかかるのは確かだが一日二日伸びても何も変わりはなかったのではないだろうか。むしろ少しゆっくりと見ることもできたのではと思う。早く進みお金を節約し早く終わるのが目的ではなく、時間やお金をかけても、かけずとも終わりは終わり。時間とお金はお遍路の外からの要因であって自信の頭の中にしか存在していない。高速バスに乗り換えて海を越える。

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Like a piece of cloud, I calmly headed to east.
Escaping from the burning asphalt, I entered Udon restaurant for quick lunch.
The relentless man made structured area should be swiftly pass through but the 84th is top of the mountain, very steep up from 0 to 280m.There are no one around at the traditional main gate, almost only the walking pilgrims walk through with encouraging winds, which cools me down.
The 85th is on the mountain opposite side. I wish I could ride on a cloud, but the reality is sharp down as I was almost falling down. Then I went up and down slowly like circulating air in a colourful day.

24.11.2016
83一宮寺
84屋島寺
85八栗寺

冨士屋旅館
42.6km
ちぎれた雲の一つになって淡々と東に向かっていく1日。
普段昼はほとんど店に入ることもなかったが、アスファルトにジリジリと焼かれるのから逃れる様に、この日はうどん屋。早めに街を抜けたいとそろそろ歩くが84番へは急な登り、そのせいか表の山門に人気は無い、歩きお遍路しかもはや使わないところだろう、心地よく風が吹き抜ける。85番は反対側の山、雲に乗って景色を眺めるのもつかの間に崖をまさに落ちるように降る。後は再び登って下ってゆっくりの日。

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In the end, I didn’t extend but stayed until check out time. However after the 78th I realised about severeness of that delay. A night before I was thinking in bed about how to hit those three temples as they are positioned triangularly. Considering the distance and elevation, it seemed to me, the 81st is the first, then to the 82nd, then to the 80th is much more efficient, than usual number order. On top it would be easy to reach the 83rd afterwards. But can I really get to the 80th on time with this delay. I absolute hate surfaced flat road which very difficult to maintain the speed, contrary, as soon as I am on unsurfaced mountain road, I can have great concentration and high pace therefore I should be. I reached the 82nd around 3 o’clock. quickly finish the temple duties and got stamped. Then after I rang an accommodation to book a room near by the 80th temple. I was told by a lady that it will be too late, too dangerous to go through the mountain once it gets dark therefore I should find elsewhere near by the 82nd temple. I am not normal old retired week Japanese pilgrims, my mind set and attitude towards to this thing is nowhere near similar, there is no way back. My determination, challenge mood and the dark side are completely switched on. According to the map it is just under 7km gradual down hill mountain road. if there are no steps I could go easily way faster than the surfaced road.
And actually it was way more than I was expected, nice softness of woody leafy soil with very gradual down hill. My speed went just up and up. I thought couple of times if I went to other way according to the number order 80 81 82 then it must have been harder. I was running down with smile like a mad man, until the surfaced road appeared. In the end I reached the 80th temple in just over one hour. After the 80th temple I walked pass the accommodation which refused me, I put middle finger up in my mind. Positive strong power is also coming from the dark side.
After bath I walked to the restaurant in between rice fled in pitch black, I thought that the gate of temple 82 was beautiful with autumn leaves but I only photographed one with my mobile as I was on hurry. I should have slow down a bit.

23.11.2016
78郷照寺
79高照院
81白峯寺
82根来寺
80国分寺

せと国民旅館
28.5km

結局チェックアウト時間ギリギリまで疲れがたまってかダラダラしていた。そしてその遅れの程が問題であることに78番の後に気付く、前日からどのルートを通るか考えてはいたがやはり番号順ではなく、81、82、80、の順の方が距離、高低差などから考えて効率的でその次の83へも行きやすいように見えるので79から81へ向かう。果たして80番国分寺の納経時間に間に合うだろうか。舗装された平らな道は非常に苦手、速度もそれほどあげられない。一旦山道に入ると不思議な事に一心不乱に速いペースで歩き続けられる。82番根来寺に着いたのは3時ぐらいだっただろうか、急いで納経を終えて80番近くの宿に電話をかけると、遅くて暗くなって危ないですからこないでください、どこか引き返して近くのところに泊まってくださいと言われる。私は一般的な日本人の定年後の年取ったお遍路とは心構えも姿勢も違う引き消すことなどありえないと、スゥィッチオン、急に自信とやる気がみるみる湧いてきた。地図からだと7km弱の緩やかな下りの山道だから平坦な舗装された道よりも階段がなければ早く歩ける自信があった。
予想以上に程よく整備された山道で速度は上昇しっぱなし最後は馬鹿みたいに笑いが止まらない状態、80、81、82だったら真逆でダラダラの登りのルートだったと思いながら飛ぶように駆け降り続け、結局舗装が現れるまでお遍路としては気狂いの速度、一時間強で国分寺に到着。
風呂の後、真っ暗闇の田んぼのあぜ道を通って国道のファミレスに夕食へ。82番の根来寺の山門と紅葉は美しかったが急いでいたので写真も携帯で一枚だけ、もう少し余裕があった方がいいなと思う。

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Bright colourful misty morning, I was crossing the bridge to the temple or to the another world.68 and 69 are next to each other, I got stamped at same time, very thankful place.However, it was busy day hitting 10 temples, candles incense, sonic heart sutra reading then repeat at the next temple. Moreover the 75th is huge temple, back and forth even within. Small nature walk was relief compared to areas with human activities, but the most of the day, I walked burning noisy asphalt. By the time when I got to the Hotel I was utterly exhausted mentally and physically. I even asked if could extend the check out time..

22.11.2016
68神恵院
69観音寺
70本山寺
71弥谷寺
72出釈迦寺
73曼荼羅寺
74甲山寺
75善通寺
76金倉寺
77道隆寺

Apa Hotel 丸亀
36km

明るく色彩豊かな霞の中、最初の寺へ向かう。
68番と69番は寺が二軒並んでいて、同時に納経できるありがたいところ、そして今日は時間いっぱいまで打ちまくり、ロウソク、線香、般若心経音速読経の繰り返しで忙しい日。75番善通寺など寺がデカ過ぎて行ったり来たり。人里の中雑念だらけか山道と違いホテルに着いた時は身も心もヘロヘロ。

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The 65th Sankaku temple is above the clouds, Looking back human activities in the middle.Then further up to the temple.From there to the 66th temple is all the way mountain road. No rain no wind, but dark cloudy day.I had no thoughts, no emotion. I didn’t even think if it is hard or not.
Temples are quite worldly, business in their mind, no care about appearance either. That is one of the reason why I have not much interest to take photos of them.
Night fell, then I entered the town.

21.11.2016
65三角寺
66雲辺寺
67大興寺

藤川旅館
42km

雲の上の三角寺に向かう、途中で下界を見渡す。
そこから雲辺寺までずうと山間の道と山道。
雨も降らない風も吹かないが薄暗い曇りの日。何も思わず、ほとんど無感動で歩いた。辛いなども考えもせずただ進むだけ。寺は神社に比べ世俗的、その当たりが写真を撮る気も起きない理由だろうか、見てくれ気にせず商売っ気たっぷり.
夜になって街に着く。

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I saw the sun rise in between the clouds.
Highway, all the way, on calm sunny day, it is opposite of breath taking scenery. I wished that the distance shrinks every blinks. A Torment by boredom exceeded physical pains.
Then I was emptied.

20.11.2016
旅館大成荘
37km

雲間から太陽が昇るのを感じる。
ひたすら国道、穏やかな天気ながらなぜこんなにも美しくないのだろうかと思いながら、まばたきをするごとに距離が縮んでいてくれることを願う。倦怠という苦痛が体の苦痛をはるかに超える。
その後は空になる。

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Starting the day before the dawn in rain. Mountains release the clouds then gradually the sky lightens. I was gazing all those dynamic silent show, but then realised that I have to go up those mountains.I left my backpack at the temple 61 which is at the bottom of the mountains, then heading to the the 60th Yokomine Temple. Now I am lighter and faster, but it’s the climbmax of the day, when I get to the ridge, the forest opens up, a small break then head to the peak. Going down is easy, then four temples at the bottom of mountains close to the each others. However, I arrived the hotel after night fell. Days are very short.

19.11.2016
60 横峰寺
61 香園寺
62 宝珠寺
63 吉祥寺
64 前神寺
ホテルイレブン
33.5km未だ薄暗い雨の中出発、山が雲を吐き出して次第に明るくなっていく、見とれているがこれからあの山に登るのか。61番香園寺で荷物を預かってもらい横峰寺を目指す。身軽な分だけ早く登れるが正に山場、道が尾根づたいに変わるところで景色が開け、接待で貰ったみかんを食べ残りの頂上まであと少し。行きは辛いが帰り早い。後は4軒、それでも宿には暗くなってから、日が短い。

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The Sun rises from my direction, eventually I am heading to East.6 temples to hit for today, a day is shorter, there aren’t any moments to stop and I think of locations where to stay, it’s the key to the 60 Yokomine temple on following day. Mentally, there are slight difficulties when I get into the mountains invisible impediment, certain discomfort and bit of fear, but once I am in, it is comfortable and peaceful then I could gain concentration to the walk. On the other hand town is easy to get in, sort of relief, but then gradually feel the aggravation.

18.11.2016
54延命寺
55南光坊
56泰山寺
57栄福寺
58仙遊寺
59国分寺
田中屋ビジネスホテル
34.5km

太陽が前から登る。ついに東向きに歩き始めた。今日は6件打ち、日が短く休む暇など全くない,
次の日の横峰寺を見据えてどこに宿を取るか宿の空き状況と悩みどころ。精神的に山の中に入るのは少々きついが入ってしまえば心地いい、街に入るのは簡単だが徐々に生き苦しくなる。