Japan Kōchi Shikoku Travel

Day 23: Anpanman

After a restive night I woke this morning to find my tent pretty damp, probably because of my close proximity to the sea, so it took a while to let it dry out before packing up.

Irino Pine Coast

Irino Pine Coast Surfing

Setting off at 7.45am I walked through the pine trees next to the beach watching the intrepid surfers who had been there since sunrise. Bobbing up and down, they looked like a group of seals waiting to catch the right wave.

Anpanman

Not for the first time, I bumped into Anpanman (アンパンマン), a hugely popular kids cartoon character whose author, Takashi Yanase, came from Kochi. His name comes from the fact that he is a man with a head made of bread (pan) that is filled with red bean paste (anko). When Anpanman comes across a starving creature or person, he lets them eat part of his head. Come to think of it, I was feeling a bit peckish…

Yellow flowers

For most of the morning I followed the Sawa no tōge Pass down to the Shomanto Ōhashi Bridge where I bumped into Y-san, the same henro I’d previously a couple of times in recent days. It turns out he’s doing the pilgrimage one prefecture at a time, returning home in-between each.

Izuta Pass Road

View from Izuta Pass

During the early afternoon I crossed the Izuta Pass which is an old henro trail that bypasses the modern Shin-Izuta Tunnel. It was a great climb up into the mountain along a disused road that eventually turned into a path through a bamboo forest.

Izuta Pass Trail

Henro sign on bamboo

The path doesn’t look very frequently trod and I came across hoof prints, probably from wild boar which I wasn’t keen to encounter.

Drive in Suisya

Maguro don

Once the trail rejoins with the main road I found a nice restaurant where I had maguro don (raw tuna on rice) for lunch. On my way out the kind owner handed me a small package containing bread and a drink as osettai.

Daishi-mae rice fields

From here it was an easy 5km walk to Lodge Camellia where I’m staying tonight. It’s a really nice small but modern guest house with only three rooms. They provide curry rice for dinner and bread for breakfast.

Sunset from Lodge Camellia

Tomorrow I should reach Kongōfuku-ji (金剛福寺 – 38) and the most southerly tip of Shikoku. From there I have a number of options as to which route I take to temple 39 (long, longer or very long).

Information

Distance walked: 32 km / 42,100 steps
Temples visited: None
Overnight lodgings: Lodge Camellia (ロッジカメリア) – Guest House

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Originally from the UK, David is designer and wanderer currently based in Tokyo. Prior to this, he lived in China and still returns frequently to continue exploring this vast and varied land. He started Randomwire in 2003 to chronicle his travels and occasional musings. Feel free to drop him a line.

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