A good sleep in a huge room with sound of ocean.Hazy morning, heading to Shimanto river today. There are many kites in Shikoku, it is easy to spot them at the coast. They are entertaining to look at, while walking on boring high way.
At a convenience store, just before the Shimanto river bridge, I met many other pilgrims. Every one was there for the first morning break, refiling and preparing for rain. It was obvious that heavy clouds were about to come. Shimanto river is famous for clear water but it is mirky emerald green. At halfway on the bridge, from front right side, I was swallowed. Sight and memory got narrower and darker in pouring rain. Like a fish, just swimming through without any thoughts and emotions.After a very long tunnel, entering Tosashimizu, pouring rain was already turned into lukewarmly clouds. Again along the coast, Mist here is very noisy, it is the vapour form of pacific’s black current, inhaling into my lungs.
Tomorrow, eventually the cape Ashizuri.
Clothes and shoes are almost dry by morning. It is a very calm day, walking along the river in a daze, looking sceneries. Why the river is so blue, although it is not so deep?Under the forest, where there is constant flow of water, concrete wall was cover by green, it looks beautiful. Looking at them with bit more attention, I see different kinds of vegetation competing each others, not only on the concrete wall but actually everywhere. For living, place is essential and we all have to eat. An old tunnel, by walking in, gradually I was covered by darkness and soon no more site to my feet, having feeling of melting into darkness. I could see the entrance and the exit but it felt very very long. During pilgrimage, I loose sense of time. It is like dreaming, traveling through long period of time, but in reality it is only few days.
Darkness gradually coming off, then coming out of the tunnel, and the forest, I reached Saga Kuroshio town. In Tosa, people view cherry blossoms and sea. Is it because of the sound of wind and ocean which mutes everything else? It was some how very quiet.After passing an artificial peaceful park, then to Tosashirahama, a just small fishing village. In splashes of waves, a person sitting on a pier and waiting fishes to come, looks like almost praying. It is probably their daily life but it seems to me a fundamental way of living with severe but giving mother nature.Rice field next to the ocean with salty wind blows, even there are many small stones in the field, that is why rice in Kochi is some how bit different, but tasty and much more wilder.
After checking in the accommodation, I wanted feel the ocean to my swollen feet. wave draws my tiredness and gives me soft energy.
Rain, sometimes torrential rain.
In 15 minutes, trousers, shoes are completely soaked. Discomfort is the process, but once all completed, it becomes unnoticeable.
At the Settaijyo (service, break place for pilgrims), I was advised not to go traditional pilgrim path in the mountain, there are chance of landslide, which is also written on the map. On modern road there are tunnels, normally I find it horrible to go through with exhaust of cars and winds, also pavements are often very little. On the contrary when it is raining, tunnels are small breaks to go through.
Getting up with sunrise, going back and hit the 36th Temple before breakfast.
Along the very clean Yokonami Skyline, almost no traffic and no body, it feels endless along the cliff, some how very sentimental feeling, and some point I really wanted listen some music, not much thoughts but grabbed by those weird sad feeling, looking at hazy horizon.Endless cliff road, shortly came to the end, seeing very flat Uranouchi bay on right side, heading into inland.
I was looking for a place to have a break, then suddenly a cement factory standing behind the small rice field.
Sky was getting grey and darker, I would better get hurry and reach to the accommodation.
Despite the fact, it is called “business hotel”, it is more like an apartment, small yet quite high rise for the footprint, typical of Japan.
It soon started rain, room was strong smell of tobacco, turning air condition was even worse. Out side there are high rise motorway and a pond with concrete wall.
I suddenly felt claustrophobic and miserable. I am not in the middle of big city, is this the curse of the cement factory? and fully plastic packaged Bento as a dinner, made my end of the day very very sad.
Swiftly walk to the ferry stop, it is almost straight line from the temple 32, but it feels long, longer than the map shows.
Quick snack before on bored, then very short ride to opposite side of the bay. It is warm sunny day, feels like having a nap. Getting into Tosa city, while having slightly later lunch, I was calculating the speed and distance again and again. I was not sure if I manage to get to the 36th on time.
By the time when I get to the Usa-oohashi (it stands for big bridge) I recognised that I would not make it by 5pm. I decided to enjoy the sunset view. I am sure that I did not reach to Greece, but small surprise when I get to the hotel, and beautiful end of the day.
Getting into Kochi city.
I realise existence of my self, and many other people who are around and not even aware or conscious about each other.
Not only Kochi but other cities in Shikoku feel slightly old, not just buildings, but some how the atmosphere feels like 20 or 30 yeas back, which gives space, and allowance for me to be there with the look of pilgrim. Anachronistic look of the hat but its wonderful in Rain and the sun.
Starting in rain, walking along the coast, warm strong wind blows sea water from left side.
Holding the hat and lean forward every time the splash comes.
However the wind also blew the clouds away.
The sun is coming out, it burs the skin.
Unfortunately Rubbish is common sight along the pilgrimage road.
I started doubt about standard and double side of Japanese morality.
In the afternoon, I saw incredible amount of rubbish along the coast path, It was not only fishing stuff, but all sort of things from household, electric gadgets etc.
Does this come from poverty? as it costs lot to throw those rubbish legitimately, or poverty in their heart. Typically Japanese follows what other do, that is why there are incredible amount in some rather hidden places. In any cases this is malfunctions of our society and our mind. This is dark side and reality of Japan.
Day after day, walking along the coast, boredom and exhaustion.
Humidity got higher and higher towards to the midday, then eventually pouring rain. It is another discomfort, actually life is full of discomforts. However once the body is filled with those discomforts, I forget all of that. Almost without thinking, I just walked forward. Suddenly encountering some scenes, emotions are released as a bag full of stuff are toned apart. It is something like mix of joy, happiness, and slight sadness.
As the body gets exhausted, my heart gets much more sensitive and moved.
Slow but Smooth day, along the Cape Muroto.
A day after 45km, hearing the sound of ocean whole night, my mind was fully recharged. On the other hand, my body was heavy as lead, decided to take it easy.
Climbing the mountain in snow, was already feel like long time ago, now the sun is always burning left side of me.
When the body gets exhausted, all comes directly to mind.
Amazing feeling of stones and the waves, it takes the heat from my feet and the stones from its underneath. Ocean is incredibly powerful.