Clouds or haze, crossing Misaka touge. I received tea and sweets at Sakamotoya, and there I met other Ohenros, who I have seen couple of times. By that time sky was showing a sign of hot sunny day. Almost Matsuyama city.There are 6 temples, and those temples are much crowded compared to before. At the 50th temple, after reading the Heart sutra, I realised that my cane is missing from the cane stand. I had waited for 10 minutes to find, but only one cane with same coloured cloth stayed. it was almost brand new, so it must belong to someone who does not go by foot.
I have tighten up the string many times when I walked in rain. The part of wood which underneath cloth, was whiter compared to the exposed part. Although it was only 23 days, it had been gripped by my hands, sunburned, and blown by salt wind. Although normally I do not use the cane on flat asphalt roads, and I even got annoyed that I had to hold it all the time, but now somehow I felt unbalanced and difficult to walk without it. Once you use in the mountains you realised how useful it is, then it had become part of body. I have reached Dougo Onsen with empty mind. Water was hot, cooling down until the time allows.

46 浄瑠璃寺
47 八坂寺
48 西林寺
49 浄土寺
50 繁多寺
51 石手寺




Traditional Japanese houses make me feel like being out side. It is not just because the building and fitting quality are bad, nor the walls and the doors are thin. Lying on tatami, I could feel the wind and movements of trees, as well as  inside of the house. It is not suitable for cities. Feeling of sunrise or my usual pilgrimage habit, I woke up around 5:45. The cold tatami is very comfortable to swollen feet, I hesitate to put my shoes on.
I was planing to reach the accommodation in Kumakougen by the noon, then hit the 44th and the 45th temple in the afternoon. However, there was a sign “Hiwada-touge closed due to land slid.” there are no one around to ask how severe. The last thing I want, is going back same route. Then I have decided to go through Nosono-touge. Much later than as I planed, I arrived to the accommodation in the afternoon, no time for lunch break, I have left my rucksack, then swiftly head to the 45th. I worried if I could reach there on time.
The 45th Iwayaji is on the middle of cliff or middle of a huge rock, very interesting temple. However, as always I forget to take pictures. After Noukyo, heading back immediately. I wanted to get back to the accommodation before night comes Although I have a touch, in the mountain in the forrest it would be pitch black. Down hill, once I get speed then I can not slow my self down, like a mad man, jumping one side to another, enjoying the speed and wind.
When I get to the accommodation it was already dark. Sweat got colder and I was very hungry. In the end I have done probably around 50km today.09.04.2016
44 大寶寺
45 岩屋寺



Departing with freshly washed clothes and dried shoes.
Sunny, it is going to be quite hot.
“Good morning” so many times, School boarding time, huge number of school kids, compared to the other days.
Roaming in the rain, yesterday was far past, swiftly walking in the warm sunny day no breaks.I saw black swans, first time in my life, “swan” in Japanese is “Hakuchyou = white bird” therefore “black white bird” is weird thing

Entering charming old Uchiko, but very touristic. It spoils my appetite, not suitable for budget hurrying pilgrims. I saw an old theatre only from out side, and then avoided the friendly sales of a historic pharmacy. I presume what they sell are all expired.

Getting snack and meal for tonight and next morning at the Michinoeki (road side station), as the accommodation for tonight does not supply any meal. Always the last part is the hardest. The light gets dramatic but my speed goes down.By the time when I reached to the village where I stay, the sun is about setting, surprisingly I am staying in this house on my own. A huge house but I only need a space for my body size, one tatami. Once I sit I can not stand up any more, after the bath I just fall asleep.

晴れている、暑くなりそう、登校時間で、ひたすらお早うございます 今日は数が半端じゃない。雨の中を彷徨いながら歩いた一昨日は遥か昔足取り軽く暖かな日、休憩なしでひたすら歩く。黒い白鳥を始めてみた。日本語はちょっとおかしい。



Grey dark morning, departing old beautiful Tsushima town.
I passed through Uwajima without much of sight seeing, yet I could not keep the good pace.
After the 41st temple, the weather got worse, then by the time, when I  was about to leave the gate of the 42nd temple, it was raining cats and dogs.
I have decided to have as usual quick lunch, and an Energy drink, which I was served at  Miyoshi ryokan after the breakfast.Going up the mountain road, rain got less and less, I was in the thick cloud, and boiling, almost my swet steam was making all these clouds, or I was a part of it. By the time when I go through the tunnel, which is top of the Hanaga touge, the clouds got thicker and darker, and everything became spookier. After the tunnel is steep down, coming out under the clouds. Again I got back to heavy rain. I quickly checked the map, it is not easy in heavy rain. “6km”. Without thinking of much I was already walking fast. Because of the exhaustion or impatience, I just could not conclude my thoughts. If I walk 7km/h I should be able to get to the 43rd temple by 17, but as I can not keep checking the map due to heavy rain, if I go wrong way,,,, I realised that I was already running, and once I got the rhythm, surprisingly I could just go on and on, even though I had walked 30km with backpack that day already, and about 40km every last days.
As always and expected, there is an extra path and the stairs, after the gate of the temple, which is not shown on the map. I have manage Noukyou (stamped) just on time, then tried to light up incense without breaking nor wet, but my hands are cold and wet, on contrary my body was steaming.
When I get to the Ryokan. I was told by the landlady to take all the clothes off and go to the bath directly, she also washed my cane and took my backpack to my room. Next day every thing was beautifully cleaned and dry.
There are people who give amazing service in this country, when the body is tired everything goes to heart directly.

41 龍光寺
42 仏木寺
43 明石寺



I left the accommodation and got into mountains. Two mountain crosses today.
During walking on highway, many things come across in my mind, but on the mountain path, I only concentrate on walking. Some times I glance views in between trees, then keep going. Everyday is almost same, but always new and different path. Long Kochi prefectures came to the end, and now in Ehime.
Approximately 16km from the 40th temple, I met an old woman, she came out from a decayed house,who sis almost the last one standing, next to it there couple of ruins of the houses. She asked me where I came from today, and where I stay tonight. I shortly answered and kept walking. I probably should have bit more conversation as if she lives alone in such remote place in the mountain, but it might be her daily routine to ask every Ohenro = pilgrims.
By the time when I get to the accommodation, it was already dark.

40 観自在寺



In Shikoku, as soon as leaving the coast, and the sea is no longer in my sight, I feel that I am in the middle of no where, far away from the sea. Walking next to rice fields in between mountains.
Shoes do not conduct the heat from asphalt, but tired swollen feet are heating up.

39 延光寺



After leaving the accommodation, walking on the soft beach in warm mist, heading to the Cape Ashizuri.Back to the asphalt along the cliff, towards to the cape, mist cleared up. Gradually vegetation changes to Subtropical.Three days after the last temple, eventually Temple Kongofukuji, there are turtles everywhere, statues and symbols. I saw a carcass of turtele on the way next to small fishing port, where it was slightly dirty part. I did not notice until I was almost step on it, I got surprised and frightened then kept walking, I did not even check properly. Has it died because of rubbish?

In Japan, vending machines are common sight, it also appears in the middle of no where as well. I think it looks incredibly ugly, and not suitable in beautiful nature. Slightly coloured flavoured water poured in to cans or plastic bottles then transported all the way, then inserted to vending machines which runs 24hours, using electricity to cool or warm drinks. Water in Shikoku is very good. I start a day filling a used plastic bottle with tap water. Plastic bottles are light and strong, also soft when the content are gone, it can squeeze in to bags, then reusable. Instead of chucking straight after the initial filled drinks are drunk, it is better to reuse so many times than recycled. I think buying a portable bottle is just creating another rubbish. I have seen a person buying a bottle of drink and put it in one’s bottle, then chucking immediately that plastic bottle.

At the edge of cliff, gazing at waves covering rocks, made me forget about time passing. I also walked around there to see from different places, although my feet hurts, normally I avoid even an extra step. It was very quiet as there were no other bunch of pilgrims nor tourists. Despite of morning mist and low clouds, sight was clear. As the name Ashizuri (means dragging legs) I walked all the way up to here, beautiful, quite and some how slightly sad, but feeling immeasurable.
However This is the half way, turning point of this day and this pilgrimage. Passing the cape, passing villages and Clouds are passing, the sun is coming back soon.

38 金剛福寺



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.

37 岩本寺