While the temple count was only about half, I knew the journey was coming to a close. The temples after this were pretty close together compared to the rest that I had been on. The next town with a large amount of temples was Imbari. Famous for ship building it sits on the north west of Shikoku. For the most part I stuck to the temples in order, but because of where I was staying and where the town and temples were I had to visit some temples out of order. This started with Temple 55, Nankobo.

NANKŌBŌ 南光坊 55

Near the coast and downtown area of Imbari, Temple 55 Nankobo sits among the streets and shops. It was only a couple minute walk from my hotel and seemed to be sitting on one of the main streets in town. One level, everything at arms length. I was a little nervous that the monks at the temple office would scold me or sign the wrong page. But it all worked out. I didn’t spend to much time here. I knew that I had a lot of ground to cover and the temple was compact.

ENMEIJI 延命寺 54

I then made my way to Temple 54, Enmeiji. This is back toward the north side of town. The reason I did this is because the rest of the temples are in a line going south into the mountains. 55 is sorta jetted out towards the coast. Temple 54 had a long paved entrance that led to the main temple. Trees frame the main temple and up some stairs to the left is the Daishido hall.


Half way in between 57 and 54/55 through some neighborhoods and following a hill of trees you will come across temple 56, Taisanji. At first there is an entrance to another temple that I thought was it, but as soon as I did not notice the typical temple buildings I realized I was in the wrong spot. This happened quite a bit. I found the temple raised off the ground surrounded by large stone blocks. I tried to go around and ended walking all the way to the other side to have to double back and head the other way to get up into the entrance. The temple was raised onto its own platforms and had roof tops covering its views from all around it.


This temple had joined the modern era a bit. As you walk up a slope to go past the parking lot you are greeted by a large block of a building with square cut out windows all over it. It looked like a modern design of a small hotel or something. The sign for Eifukuji was very well made and designed well by my standards. Next to this modern building is the temple all compacted into a little corner. Since this temple is sorta of in the mountain it was very peaceful.

SENYŪJI 仙遊寺 58

The mountain temple for the day. I moved through the quiet streets and entered into the farm area. It was filled with small hills and so far the journey had been flat, but I knew the elevation would be coming.

The hernro mark told me to go right, but after that there was a fork in the road. The right let me up a road and into the forest and the left took me up a grassy hill with some make shift stairs. I thought maybe the left might be the possible way. It was a fine stroll. The grass was yellowish and a long. The wind batted them back and forth as I moved up the hill. Trees started to form over the hill top and in my mind I imagined descending into a beautiful valley.

I crossed the top and there was a man make lake. Deep and cavernous.

No landscape, just the wrong path for my journey. I did get the climb up though, which provided me with some imaginary scenery when I hit the top and the lovely grass. But I flew down the hill, as it was steep and the stairs really worked well one way, but not the other. I then took the road. The whole way was paved and it was pretty nice. The road did start to slope a lot and bended back and forth to get up the mountain. I passed an old man on my way up. It did not matter how fast you go , as long as you get there. I also think that going at a slow steady pace keeps you alive during the hike. Instead of burning out, you just take it one step at a time.

The path leading up to this temple was a couple of things. Like an obstacle course, dangerous, pretty and steep. Paved ways and paths are great and I am glad for them. This path I was still glad for, but it gave me a good work out. Imagine going up tall stairs and up paths that slant, sometimes severely, toward the edge of where you would just drop off and fall down the mountain. Sometimes there is a railing in the middle of the path to signal one way for people to go up and down, but even the railing is a bit slanted. It was hard. Thankfully all my gear was at the hotel. When I reached the top there was a quote from Kobo Daishi at the main temple that said something along the lines as difficult paths are to be experienced by those that are enlightened.


Last temple of the day was back in town. Down through the fields and low lands the temple was elevated just a bit off the main ground around it. When I arrived there was a group of henro coming along the road and up into the temple the same time I was. The elevation of the temple gave a nice view to the houses around and the mountains in the distance. Imbari has small city center and around it is mostly long drawn out hills with houses scattered around. Seeing the temples today actually showed me almost all of Imbari besides the coast line near the south of town. Pretty cool.

I was done with the temple for today so I walked up north to the train station where I caught the train and headed back to town. I must of gotten in town right when school was getting done, because there were a ton of middle schoolers lined up and heading off somewhere. Not sure, but little kids like to say “Hello” in english, then after that they kind of just laugh or stare haha. I have had several times where kids will say hello to me then run off as I say hello back. At night I did some planning for the next couple of temples. I would be traveling up the coast line and to the east side of the island. I would be staying in Marugame for a couple of nights to complete the temples left side of north. Temple 60 and 66 were in the mountains and I planned to take a day for both of them by themselves.

This day I actually forgot to post on Instagram about. I will do that soon. When I looked back I couldn’t find the photos from this day and I panicked a bit. I remember the day, but I thought I had taken some photos of the experience.

One thing this trip has been a learning experience for is taking pictures of experiences. Which I am still not the greatest at. Weird since we live in a world where pictures are being taken of everything and everywhere then posted all seconds of the day. Also strange, that I really enjoy taking photos. I got into photography a while back and I love capturing the moments in video and photos, but at the same time I get to place and I just want to be be there, experience it in the moment and not be so worried about getting the perfect shot or what I should say with the post. I get scared when I try to remember things and I have a hard time recalling all the detail. Even looking at a picture doesn’t bring everything back.

There are some moment I have noticed that capturing the feeling or the actual image is impossible. I recently went to see Mt. Fuji from Hakone and none of my pictures could even get close to the feeling, weight and sheer epicness of what Mt. Fuji is in real life. I would imagine why it is always subject of art work as people are trying to capture and communicate something that really cannot be communicated fully through any medium besides reality.

Well the whole thing is learning experience.

HenroRunner Dogo Onsen
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