Dood… I am so tired. Well.. more like my legs are ready to burst. I walked over 17 miles today from 8am until 6pm with short breaks here and there. This is quite impressive for me who normally doesn’t walk more than 2 miles in a day.Got my things sorted out to where I was going to place everything since I knew it was going to be a very long walk and I brought quite a few things.
I started out in Tokushima Station and headed in the direction of the first temple “Ryozen-ji”.
Walking through the city in the morning was nice. Got quite a number of odd looks along the way, but that’s to be expected… I am used to it by now.
y this time I was really thankful the dog stole my shoe earlier this week because those shoes would’ve destroyed me on this walk today. So glad I got these hiking sandals. They’re light and comfortable, but I have to make sure I wear socks or I am going to blister up in the soles.I didn’t get a chance to do any alms today, still adjusting to the change and feeling the environment out so I opted to spend 600 yen ($5.50) for an “obento” lunch box from a grocery store and “onigiri” rice ball from 7/11. Man.. Ive missed Japanese convenience store food.
More and more and more walking later I found “The Hidden Leaf”! City of Naruto! Haha
finally saw other pilgrimers!! I was so happy. “I’m not alone!” This was how I knew I had reached the first temple.
People were nice but the priests avoided me. The people who worked at the temple shop also seemed a little bit grumpy for whatever reason. Lol. But, I did get an official walking stick. I’m not sure what people are thinking seeing me walking around but I thought at least having a stick would tell them that I am doing the Henro.
From here I went onward to temples 2 and 3. There were 2 other people walking in front of me and I assumed they were also going in the same direction so I decided to follow them so it would be less likely for me to get lost… Which I did make a couple of wrong turns.When I finally got to the 3rd temple I had a nice chat with one of them. She’s Kate from New York and I ended up making her take my stick because honestly it was a little too much to carry along with everything else I had and I thought it would make for a good story of her first trip to Japan.
People were really nice to me after the first temple. One lady gave me a bottle of water, another gave me a bag of candy, and a gentleman gave me 100 yen!
After some rest I carried on.. I had to climb some pretty steep hills. I was so tired.
I finally reached temple 4 but they closed the gate right when I got there.
Booo… Right? Ah welps.. so I went on to temple 5 where I came across another solo walker. I thought it would’ve been cool to take a picture of him from behind but just when I snapped the shot he turned around.. haha..
I made new friend! 🙂 His name is Hiromasa and he is from Saitama which is just North of Tokyo. We ended up walking together. We knew the temple would’ve been closed when we got there so we tried to figure out where we were going to spend the night when we got to the temple.
Its a good thing he is also a backpacker because I would’ve been camping out somewhere alone.
We couldn’t find a more suitable place than here at the temple so we decide to spend the night here. They have toilets and places I can shelter up to help against the wind. He’s all super prepared and I just have my robes and sleeping bag. Haha. I’m good though. No way I’d be able to carry all the things he has.
All in all.. this was a very awesome day.
It was tough… I thought about how tough this was going to be as I got more and more tired. But, I knew I wasn’t going to stop. I just have to keep pushing forward one step at a time. My flight to Sri Lanka isn’t until June 11th so I have lots of time.. so there is no quitting before that time. The only thing I really thought about today was “keep going .. keep going… Just a little bit further”.
Whoo.. is my body tired!!