The decision to have a rest day in Marugame (丸亀市) turned out to be a good one since it rained all day. I’ve been pushing myself to take advantage of the recent dry weather and I don’t think my body could have taken me far anyway.
Although I woke early as usual, for the first time I was able to turn over and go back to sleep. After getting up at 11 am and having a much-needed shave, I consulted the guidebook and worked out that I’ll probably reach temple 88 this Thursday 16th and make it back to temple 1 on Friday.
I’m planning on spending next weekend in Tokushima before returning to Koya-San on Monday. I don’t think the reality of this adventure ending is going to sink in for quite some time.
Back in the present, I walked towards Marugame station through the empty streets to the Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art (MIMOCA), a surprising piece of architecture in an otherwise fading city.
The ‘station front’ museum, designed by Yoshio Taniguchi (谷口 吉生), features contemporary sculptures in primary colours as well as a huge waterfall foundation.
I had an excellent lunch of curry followed by cheesecake in the museum restaurant before viewing the permanent collection.
Many of the paintings on display were of nameless faces arranged in a grid pattern on a white background. It reminded me of all the strangers who have been so kind to me in Shikoku so far.
Genichiro Inokuma was an abstract painter who grew up in Marugame and then spent time in France, where he was counselled by Matisse and got to know Picasso, as well as over 20 years in New York.
Afterwards, I bought some supplies at a nearby combini and wandered back to the hotel where I spend the afternoon reading a book on my iPad. What a luxury!
I head out early evening to Ikkaku, a restaurant I’d been recommended, that specialises in tender grilled chicken cooked on the bone, eaten cave-man style. Delicious.
Tomorrow I hope to make it to Negoro-ji (根香寺 – 82) and sleep in an enclosed hut nearby.