I had reached temple 5 on my first day of walking. It was mainly walking through the city which garnered me lots of looks and stares from everyone walking or driving by. I did get quite awkward for me for a while, but I had to keep telling myself that its to be expected since I am probably the only bright orange person walking around the whole island of Shikoku right now.
Many people took pictures of me, some asked first beforehand, most didn’t.. but I don’t mind it.
I didn’t exercise or do any kind of prep workout to prepare myself for this walk before coming to Japan, so I was getting tired and sore quite quickly and easily. I walked about 20 kilometers on the first day.
The temples were really nice, I felt really relieved when I saw the bus full of elder ohenros dressed in their white attire and walking sticks (which is kind of funny since they weren’t walking it) because I knew I was on the right track and I didn’t feel like I was doing this thing alone. I think a lot of them were quite confused to see me, a Theravadan monk on this pilgrimage. I got a few stares from some of the temple staffs, some of them were saying some negative gossiping behind my back, thinking I can’t understand them.. little do they know I can understand Japanese pretty well. I just kept quiet though, not my business.. they can think what they want.
The Sun had just set when I reached temple 5 so I didn’t want to spend too much time trying to find a place to lay my sleeping bag. The vending machine next to one of the temple halls provided good lighting and it had a place for me to plug in my power bank so that’s where I laid my sleeping bag for the night.