Down the north coastline we go. From west to the east. For today I would be heading a little out of order. I would be skipping 60 and heading straight to 61 and head over across to 64, then skipping 65,66 and going to 68,69 and 70.

Temple 60 and 66 are high in the mountains, 65 is in the town below 66, so it would make sense to go them at the same time. I got up early and took the train down to Iyo-komatsu.

HŌJUJI 宝寿寺 62

Right off the train is the actual temple 62, Hojuji. The odd thing is that this temple is not part of the temple association anymore, or it never was. What this means is that you pay a bit more money for the stamp. They have an auxiliary temple for 62 set up by temple 61, but I wasn’t sure how it all worked out , so I just go my stamp at the temple which consisted a small main temple located right next to the train tracks. It was small and had an odd vibe to it. When I made my way to 61 down the street, there was a small shrine and office set up that the temple association was managing. The spirit lived well at that one, but it still felt a little strange.

KOUONJI 香園寺 61

I was walking towards this temple and checking my map to see where it was. Paths sloped around different corners and stairs went in different directions as I got closer.

I noticed the entrance to this temple far away and throught it was some sort of park, so I took the slope to the right and walked right past it. I walked around a corner that started to go around a hill and knew that I had made a mistake, so I doubled back and followed the path into the what I thought was the park.

Now I remember hearing and seeing pictures of this temple in the guide book. In my mind I thought “Well that is lame , this temple looks like an office building or something” As I moved past the park like entrance the building revealed itself. A massive building with large pillars built into the sides. It looked like something straight out of Bladerunner. The architecture, the texture, the designs all seem other worldly. It astounded me. The sheer size of the building took me aback. The bottom level on the outside has some open rooms where the main temple is, the temple office is a small office on the side. While I stared at the building and took it in with my eyes and camera.

I then noticed people going up some stairs on the right side of the temple, so I followed them. Upstairs I had to take my shoes off and entered in the main hall. A giant golden Buddha sat inside a dark dimly lit room with high ceilings. In the middle chairs sat around the main shrine. Long thin slits of light came through the windows in the back of the room. Incense hung in the thick warm air. People quietly shuffled around prayed and sat down. For a building to look the way it did and contain what I saw I never would have imagined.

The feeling was warmth and comfort. I sat admiring the inside and taking the room in. It was still. Time hung and if the light outside did not change as the day went by, you wouldn’t know that time existed inside. I took only a few pictures, as I felt every unnecessary movement unbalanced the harmony in the room. I meditated and then went back outside. The sun blinded and all I could do was smile. What I thought would be lame, turned out to be one of the best experiences I had. I sat outside the temple for a bit of time taking it all in, but I knew that I had to leave. So I heaved my stuff back on and continued to the next temple. I skipped as I had already been there and continued down the street to 63.

Temple 61

The temple office




The inside of the temple




The four temples I was visiting were all in a row, but the distance was quite far, in my mind it looked like it would take a hour at most to get and visit all the temples, but we all know how that works out.

I walked down a Main Street moved one road over and may path turned into a smaller street that was made for one car at a time. The street had green areas on the side where people couple pull over and let others though and where you could walk. I then had to go over to the main road and cross to get to the temple. A creek surrounded the outside of the temple and you had to go to the side to get in. A young guy dressed in all white hero gear with his friend walked in at the same time as me. Even I was suprised to see another young person doing the trip haha. Even while this temple was by the main road, it was quiet and nice inside. You walked through the main gate to then to the left to the main temple. Trees surrounded the grounds, so it cut any noise out and provided a tranquil place to pray. By this time I was still trying to figure out what I was going to do for the day, but I had one temple in the line to visit so I set forth. The young hero and his friend left the same time as me, but we went different ways. For the trip I relied on the hero makings (which should be the fastest way to get there) and google maps to get to the temples. Sometimes the paths are not marked the best and get confusing, so google maps always had my back.


The last temple in the line was further away from the others. Down the main road and then heading south into the neighbor hoods. Soon the buildings cut away and temples started to appear to my right side. I was really tired at this point as I had all my gear on me and I did not know how to get into this temple. There was an entrance that has a parking lot, but the path goes through a forest to get to the temple, or the street goes to the other side the temple. There were some markings, but I saw other people being confused so I went around to these of the temple following the street.

Temple 64, Maegamiji , is really neat. You move infront of the temple office building where the bell is and then following into the forest a bit there is a small river that you cross and stairs to ascend. At the top of the stairs is this space. The main temple creates a block U facing towards the stairs and no tree stands where the temple Is. The ground where the temple stands is bear and forest and mountains stand behind the temple. The moment I reached the top of the stairs and looked upon this temple, I knew there was no way to capture the feeling. It was a like a secret garden that you stumble upon. I prayed and took in the peacefulness that surround the whole places.


JINNE-IN 神恵院 68 and KANNONJI 観音寺 69

I took the train up to Kan-Onji to visit 68 and 69 which I heard are in the same place. The city was pretty nice as I got off the train and made my way to the temples. I ended up going through a park to get to the temples, which as I past, I thought of living close and using this park all the time and having temples just around the corner. Places that people are trying to get to every year, it must be interesting watching the henro pass by. They were not kidding when they said the temples were right next to each other. On the left was Jinne-in and the right Kannonji. Temple 68 was in a concrete enclosure. A gaint concrete block with an entrance sat there off to the side of a walk way. You ascend some stairs and the main temple is at the top in this concrete house. It was actually pretty neat. I thought it was super strange, but I actually enjoyed it. Then temple 69 was just a walk away with its traditional temple form. I rested for a bit and then decided I would try and head to temple 70 before the day ended. I would have to head that way anyway, because the train station was over east. So I set my course and off I went.


The last temple of the day was pretty far away. I crossed rivers and walked along fields to get there. At one point I was walking along this field and a car stopped in front of me. This women ran out carrying a bottle of tea and some snacks. She asked if the tea was to heavy for me, but I assured her it was ok. I thanked her a bunch and she ran back to her car and sped off.

I will tell you that, in all honesty I feel deeply honored that people help those that are on the journey. It inspires me to help other people that are on their own journey, their own quest. I always feel that just thanking the person for the gift , or giving them a name slip is inadequate, but it is not about that. If you give some one something with the intention of getting something back, you are doing it for the wrong reason. If I worry that I am not giving them thanks enough, I am taking away from their gift. I am always truly grateful though to those that aided me during my time. This random lady ran from her car to aid me and there is no way for me to express truly how grateful I was, but I always try my best.

By the end, the sun was going down and my legs and feet were pretty sore. I focused on my breathe and took it one step at a time. I could see the pagoda from the temple from a far and knew I was close. Through some small paths and trees temple 70 Motoyamaji stood. The large pagoda stood off to the side of the main temple and always kept its gaze on me as I moved through out the temple. The sun was setting and created a nice backdrop for the evening. I finished the tea and ate the small biscuit that she had gave me in the temple yard. I thanked her again as I finished and watched family stroll through the temple yard. A little boy ran around the gravel and his family talked nearby.

From the temple I made my way to Motoyama station and headed to Marugame where I was staying for the night. I had a long, but great day. I ended up having kimchi ramen for dinner again, but it was a good meal to finish off the day.

60 Yokomineji and 65 Sankakuji Imbari
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