From Tokushima

Tokushima Prefecture (徳島県) – awakening (発心)

Potholing in the Dragon Cave at Jigen-ji

I always knew I would return to Shikoku although I hadn’t anticipated it would be quite so soon. A little over four months since I completed the pilgrimage, I find myself back on the island but this time without any strenuous obligations. I’m here to attend a few events and acclimatise before another expedition next week. Read more

Tokushima’s Cultural Landscapes

For my last full day in Shikoku, Masako was kind enough to drive me around Tokushima, starting at Kamodani (加茂谷) in Anan City (阿南市) between Kakurin-ji (鶴林寺 – 20) and Tairyūji (太竜寺 – 21). It was a damp morning and fog hung over the mountains, creating a surreal aura along the valley floor. Read more

Day 49: Return to Ryōzen-ji

I’d like to say I slept soundly last night in preparation for the final push but at 3am my neighbour decided to watch TV. After five minutes of listening to the muffled sounds of a sports game, I banged on the wall. Loudly. Not very Buddhist perhaps but it did the trick. Read more

Day 41: Edge of the Clouds

I’m writing this by torchlight tonight from the tsuyado at Unpen-ji (雲辺寺 – 66), the highest mountain temple in Shikoku at 900m. Due to some weird borders I’m technically back in Tokushima Prefecture and will pass into Kagawa, the fourth and final prefecture tomorrow. Read more

Day 10: Route 55 Rain

Waking up at 5am this morning it was already raining. Hard. I knew I would have to face this sooner or later but wasn’t looking forward to it all the same. My goal was to make it 25km along the Route 55 highway to Shishikui (宍喰町), bringing me within 40km of Hotsumisaki-ji (最御崎寺 – 24). Read more

Day 9: Asa Gongyou

After the 30km double-mountain hike of yesterday, it was hard getting up this morning but I dragged myself out of the futon at 5.30am in order to make the 6am prayer service (Asa Gongyou) at Byōdō-ji (平等寺 – 22) right next door to Sazanka where I was staying. Read more

Day 8: Kamo-michi Trail

Yesterday after posting my last entry something very fortuitous happened; at around 8.30pm a woman called Masako turned up at Hosenji and asked for me by name! Read more

Day 7: Osettai

Up until today, Chen has been walking with me but unfortunately she has to return to work next week so at 7.30am with a heavy heart I said goodbye to her at Kou station. It was great to be able to enjoy the first week together. Read more