Anticipation – March 16, 2019

  • Saturday, March 16, 2019, Day 3
  • Temples #11 and #12
  • Mima, Japan
  • Weather: 35-45 degrees, strong winds with white clouds in blue skies
  • 14.2 Miles / 33.2 Total Miles

Dozens of religious statuary formed at line marketing the entrance to the Temple #12’s Gate. Most were double life size building anticipation and awe.

  1. Buddhist Shrines
  2. Temple Gate
  3. Buddhist Shrines

Forest Shrines – March 16, 2019

  • Saturday, March 16, 2019, Day 3
  • Temples #11 and #12
  • Mima, Japan
  • Weather: 35-45 degrees, strong winds with white clouds in blue skies
  • 14.2 Miles / 33.2 Total Miles

Seven mountains in the pilgrimage exceed 2,600 feet (5,280 feet in a mile). Today was the first major in less than 4 1/2 miles. The air was filled with chirping birds, rapping bamboo, and tricking streams. Trees seem to be six stories high and as straight as pencils. Century old Buddhist shines were tucked everywhere in the forrest.

  1. Buddhist Shrines
  2. Buddhist Shrines
  3. Buddhist Shrines

Vending Machine Challenge – March 16, 2019

  • Saturday, March 16, 2019, Day 3
  • Temples #11 and #12
  • Mima, Japan
  • Weather: 35-45 degrees, strong winds with white clouds in blue skies
  • 14.2 Miles / 33.2 Total Miles

Can you find the vending machines at Temple #11? Complementary beverage if you can correctly count the number of photographed venting machines.

  1. Vending Machine
  2. Vending Machine
  3. Vending Machine

“O-Settai”

  • Saturday, March 16, 2019, Day 3
  • Temples #11 and #12
  • Mima, Japan
  • Weather: 35-45 degrees, strong winds with white clouds in blue skies
  • 14.2 Miles / 33.2 Total Miles

As I was scooping out the best view point for photographing a sampling of the ubiquitous Japanese vending machine, an elderly woman driving a small pick-up truck stops in front of the vending machines delaying the shot. She inserts coins into the machine and out clatters two drinks. She turns to face me for the first time and approaches. Without a word spoken she places one drink in my hand. She walks away being trailed by my shower of “Arigatōgozaimashita” (thank you.”). As a “henro” (pilgrim), the Japanese custom is to give “henros ” small gifts called “o-settai.” A “henro,” never refuses and always gracious accepts the “o-settai.”

The bottle drink was a superlative tea and milk blend with a drop of sweetness served hot. Yummy.

[This delightful encounter came about because my sister-in-law requested photos of the infamous Japanese vending machines,]

  1. O-Settai
  2. Vending machine’s setting
  3. Vending machine’s selections

Gifting

  • Friday, March 15, 2019, Day 2
  • Awa City
  • Weather: 45-55 degrees and blue skies with white clouds
  • 22 Miles / 19 Total Miles

During a temple visit, two ladies approached offered streaming hot tea from a vending machine. The power of random acts of kindness is common along Shikoku’s pilgrimage. Gifts are given with the same joy as received.

FYI: Roadside Japanese vending machine are revolutionary serving bottled drinks from hot tea and coffee to chilled beer and wine. As prevalent as telephone booths were in the 50’s and 60’s, vending machine are the rage.

  1. Temple #6
  2. Temple Origami
  3. Kobo Daishi who established Shikoku’s 88 Buddhist Temples 1,200 years ago

Believe

  • Thursday, March 14, 2019, Day 1
  • Temple(s): #1, #2, #3, #4, #5
  • Tokushima / Nogaro
  • Weather: 40-55 degrees and blue skies with white clouds
  • 7.1 Miles

I’d like to believe the elderly man sitting along the lane offering unsolicited directions wasn’t just for me, an American, nor for the Dane, the Australian, four Chinese, and many Japanese who followed behind me. Albeit he spoke Japanese; the universal hand gestures seemed to indicate the way.

He peddled his bicycle to each juncture to make sure we turned correctly. The markings were so unnoticeable surely many would have missed the turns.

I’d like to believe he does this everyday.

  1. Paths through bamboo
  2. Flowering tree
  3. Accommodations offer guests customary kimonos to be worn after bathing.