Day - 1


88-Temple Pilgrimage


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March 4, 2018. 

I woke up early since I was not adjusted to the time change.  I decided to skip the free breakfast at the hotel and head right to the train station.  I caught the 6:11 train to Bando for 260¥ and arrived at 6:29.  The trains are always on time.

Bando station was little more than a shelter hut (no ticket agent).  But, there was a sign that said “Follow the Green Line to Temple #1”.  Almost immediately I received my first osettai. Osettai are the acts of kindness the residents of Shikoku bestow on the pilgrims.  I met an older gentleman as I left the station who asked if I was on the pilgrimage.  When I said yes he took me into his home or office (I could not tell) and offered me a cup of coffee.  Since the Starbucks at the Tokushima Station was not open until after I had departed I gratefully accepted his offer.  I also had time to kill since the first temple did not open until 7 AM.  We sat in his very cluttered room drinking coffee and watching baseball.  He told be he had been a pitcher in high shool but had injured his shoulder.  This conversation was mainly through gestures and a few English words that my host knew.  Soon it was time to depart.  I headed back out to find the 1st Temple.

It was a short hike to Ryōzenji (霊山寺).  Upon arrival I purchased a white vest, stamp book, name slips, incense, hat, stole, and carrying bag.  I put on my gear and headed into the main area.  The temples are a collection of buildings and statues.

Anrakuji (安楽寺)

I walked 10.5 miles (16.9 km), climbed 653 vertical feet (199 m), and saw six temples.  This was my last stop today.  I asked about sleeping in the bell tower for free (Tsuyado).  They misunderstood and thought I wanted to stay in the lodging.  After we straightened things out I went up to the tower and set up my sleeping bag etc.  I was so tired that I just lay down and fell asleep.  The accommodations were fine, but I was really glad I had my own an air mattress and not just the mats they had.

Anrakuji (安楽寺)

Click here to see all the photos from the 1st day.