I woke up in the dark, my face was cold, and had difficulties getting out of the bed.
All over the body aches, not only the legs and feet, but also shoulders, arms and back. Realising how effective to have stick in the mountain.
After the huge breakfast, departing at dawn.
Long down hill, all the way to Tokushima City. It feels like I have been traveling already for many days.
Lesson: How vulnerable I am._DSC1019
If I have pain in my feet, I can not walk, not be able to go forward even for a meter. If the car breaks down, I can still walk ahead, but if a foot breaks down, then that’s it. If that happens in the mountains, I could be dead.

13-17 38km



_DSC1006Should I get to the 12th temple as I initially planed, or leave it to next day, I was wavering while walking. Recovering the delay from the first day, I had to get to the 11th temple as early as I could, from there to the 12th temple is the first tough mountain road._DSC1009

9-12 30km

_DSC1013I reached the 11th temple before noon, but I did not have any food with me.
Going to the shop near by was 40 minutes of loss.
Lesson: Do things in advance, not to leave it until last moment.
Decision made. Getting to the 12th temple before 5pm, I did not have anytime to stop.
Around the point, where climbing gradually turns to ridge walk, there is a statue of the Kobodaishi. At the bottom of its feet, water paddle was completely frozen. I was sweating and thirsty. Walking further ahead it started snowing, then almost blizzard. Feeling of time and space are getting vague, I was walking somewhere sky high, up in the mountain forever.

DSC_0273十二番焼山寺まで行くか。初日の遅れを挽回し当初の予定か次の日に回すか、迷いながら平坦な川沿いを歩き続ける、どれだけ早く山の手前の十一番藤井寺にたどり着けるかにかかっていた。 昼前に十一番藤井寺についたものの食べ物を持っていないため、山に入る前に店に行く、往復40分を失う。


It started suddenly, the bus left me at side of motorway, when the sun was about coming up.
It reminded me of my very first motorcycle trip to Hokkaido, I drove to the port Ooarai in Ibaraki at night in pouring rain. After the long ferry ride in tiny cabin, suddenly I was at different scale of landscape, dry cool continental climate. This time was also rain when I left Tokyo at midnight, then suddenly, it feels like almost time travel for couple of decades. In fact, some places seem like hundreds of years back.

1-8 25km

I have lost an hour and half at the very first Settaijyo, before the first temple. The old guy invited me, as he was almost awaiting for very long time.
He was kindly talking and telling me what and how to do. The way it should be done, Japanese way. However there are no Japanese way. Every individuals has its own way, so my way is the only way.
This was my first lesson. Other people’s kindness could cause the problems, therefore I must carefully and quickly decide if I listen or not.

_DSC0989 Average people (who lives in busy city and walk decent speed) could go up to the 10th temple on the first day, once you start the first temple at 7 am.
You get stamped only in between 7am to 5pm at the temple._DSC1000
The Second lesson, the importance of time.
I regret the loss of the first one hour and half, yet it was very good lessons at the beginning. I could manage only to the 8th temple therefore I had to find an accommodation somewhere closer to the 9th temple.
March in Shikoku, it still gets cold in the evening. Even the tiny bath was relief to exhausted body, after long bus ride, and the very first day of over 25km of walk.



これがしきたり、日本式、マイウェイは良くないなど。彼は歩いたことがあるのだろうか?それぞれ一人一人、理由も思いも体力も違う、日本式など存在しない、結局自分自身 My Way 以外はありえないだろう。