Day 24: Cape Ashizuri

Today’s hike began at 7 am after a warm goodbye from the old couple who run Lodge Camellia (highly recommended).

Ōki no Hama beach

Walking along the coast road I reached Ōki no Hama beach by 8 am and took a shortcut by walking across the gently curved beach where a bunch of surfers were out in force as usual.

Fishing net

Choosing to take the scenic route along the shore, the road dips down into a small fishing village where a large group of fishermen were loading their massive nets onto a truck using a crane (with usual Japanese precision).

Overgrown trail

When the rocky beach ran out I continued uphill into the woods via an overgrown but well-marked trail before meeting the road again.

Playing croquet

I came across a group of old folk playing a game of what looked like croquet on a dusty playing field. You’d be amazed at just how hard these octogenarians were thwacking the ball!

Henro hut

Just before Kotohira Shrine, I passed a nice henro hut that someone has set up in their garden along the roadside. Walking pilgrims can stay for free.

Cosmic Country Cafe

4km later I discovered the bohemian Cosmic Country Cafe where the owner and dog were fast asleep in the shade. I forewent the advertised Indian massage and continued forwards 😀


I reached Cape Ashizuri, the southernmost tip of Shikoku, at 12.30 and met Masako (from Day 8) outside Kongōfuku-ji (金剛福寺 – 38). She had been in the area for the weekend so came over to say hi.

We had lunch together in a restaurant outside the temple and it was nice to catch up with a familiar face and have a chance to talk in full English sentences for a change!

View from Tōjindaba
Tōjindaba Rocks
Tōjindaba Knife Rock

After lunch, Masako took me in her car to visit Tōjindaba, about 15 minutes away. The area features enormous monolithic rocks nested together which are thought could possibly be remnants of a primaeval spiritual site. A number of artefacts have been unearthed nearby from the Jomon Period (around 5000 B.C.).

Cape Ashizuri Lighthouse
Cape Ashizuri Cave

Returning to the cape we visited the picturesque lighthouse and took the steep stone steps down to an enormous cave arch hollowed out of the rock by the sea.

Ashizuri Telme Spa

Having said goodbye to Masako, since I was going to camp tonight, I tried to find an onsen in one of the nearby hotels but all of them pointed me to a fancy-looking spa resort on the top of a nearby hill. Having time to spare I hiked up to Ashizuri Thermae and had a nice long soak in an outdoor pool overlooking the ocean.

Unfortunately, the spa’s restaurant was only open to staying guests and thinking that I might have to survive off snacks I began to walk towards where I was planning to camp.

Old-fashioned Japanese Diner

Someone must have heard my rumbling stomach because on the way I came across a tiny old-fashioned diner in the middle of nowhere which happened to be open. I had katsu teishoku (breaded pork with rice and small veggie side dishes) while watching an old samurai movie on the screen above the counter.

On my way out the lady owner gave me a bag of yuzu fruits as osettai and wished me well on my way. I was so happy to have found somewhere so nice to eat.

Ashizuri Hut

In high spirits, with the sun setting over the mountains, I approached the hut I’m sleeping in tonight. Along the way, an old man had stopped in his car to check if I knew where I was going.

Sunset from Ashizuri Hut

It felt like a lot of things had gone well and a bit of a momentous day since I’m now roughly halfway around the island (the temples are not equally spaced).

Tomorrow is likely my last dry day for the rest of the week so I’m feeling a bit apprehensive but if it’s not too heavy should be ok.


Distance walked: 37 km / 48,700 steps
Temples visited: 38
Overnight lodgings: Ahizuri Hut (あしずり) – Tent

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David avatar

12 responses

  1. Julien avatar

    Amaaaaazing photos! Good luck with the rain!

    1. Thanks Julien, appreciated!

  2. Staffa avatar

    Awesome photos and love the stories each day. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks Mike, all the encouragement is much appreciated!

  3. Margaret avatar

    Look forward to your blog each day… Great stories and ‘happen-stances’ on your pilgrimage? M

  4. Wendy avatar

    Same here, look forward reading your everyday stories, thanks for sharing. wish you good luck with the weather.Wendy

  5. Hunter avatar

    Looks like perfect weather. Also interesting how your trip is turning out in terms of luck and timings. I hope it continues like this for you.

    1. Thanks as always Hunter!

  6. Beautiful day.

  7. Peter avatar

    How many days does this trip take?

    1. Around 40-50 days usually

  8. Athena avatar

    That’s such a divine sunset.


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