Today’s route took me through freshly planted rice fields around 25km from Marukome guest house near Dainichi-ji (大日寺 – 28) to Kōchi City (高知市), stopping at temples 29 and 30 on the way.
To be honest, my mind was a bit preoccupied with my painful feet today so it wasn’t the most memorable walk but a few of things stood out.
As I walked over Toitajima Bashi bridge on the Monobe River I noticed dozens of men in waders silently fishing in the shallow waters. They all looked very intent on catching something and there were even a few spectators on the banks. I wondered what exotic pray they were after.
4km later I paused at Daishidō shrine to give my feet a rest and enjoy the view over the fields. Doubled over all day to tend their crops, I don’t know how all these octogenarian farmers do it!
I stopped at a Family Mart combini for a drink and bumped into Park, a Korean cycling pilgrim who I’d met yesterday. He didn’t speak any Japanese and only a smattering of English so I gave him a hand with some accommodation advice. Like other pilgrims I’d met, he’d also walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
On the approach to Zenrakuji (善楽寺 – 30), I first visited the adjacent Tosa Jinja (土佐神社) which is one of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan. Its plain wooden construction is particularly beautiful.
After visiting Zenrakuji it was almost 1 pm and the sky looked like rain so I made haste towards Kōchi City centre and the business hotel I’d booked (like a normal hotel except the rooms are matchbox sized).
Rested, I headed out to the covered Obiyamachi shopping street in downtown Kochi where I ate a delicious meal of Tataki (たたき) at the bustling Hirome Market (ひろめ市場).
Originating in Kōchi, Tataki is raw bonito fish seared briefly over a straw fire and served sliced with garlic and a lemon soy dipping sauce.
Tomorrow rain is forecast so I’m planning on taking a rest day in Kōchi to explore the sights and let my feet heel up. If I’m feeling especially decadent I might even have a lie-in.