Day 3: The Prelude Is Almost Over (6 March 2019)

I have reached Takamatsu, the city that is my staging stop. Tomorrow, to Bando Station, followed by a short walk to Temple 1 to begin the pilgrimage.

These past few days have given me the opportunity to absorb the jet lag though I am far from being over its effects. Although I thought that I was an eight old in Japanese, a more realistic assessment puts me at a six year old with a few more “mature” words. Nevertheless, I can check into a hotel, get a train ticket, and order dinner using Japanese. I am certainly better off than I was 14 months ago.

I was looking forward to dining on Japanese food for the entire trip. I can report that I am off to a good start. How about the before and after photos of a grilled red snapper’s (tai) head and tail. My father would have enjoyed this fish and most likely would have cleaned it better than I did. I even ate broiled mochi like my mother used to make. I did not care much for it back then (really not at all) but Fukiko’s style of bathing it in a nori sauce and wrapping pieces in bacon was delicious.

I also included a photo from the entrance to the public bath on the top floor of the hotel. I am always amused by signs in other countries. I was glad the I did not meet any of the criteria for being barred from using the bath. No gangsters in my family.

Tomorrow begins this trip in earnest. Phase 1, Tokushima province, is the Place of Spiritual Awakening. The legs will indeed be awakened especially after Day 6 with a cumulative climb of 3500 feet and Day 7, the first 15 mile day (heavy rains are predicted making it a particularly exciting day). It’s raining now but the only path is forward.

Tai as presented in its before state.

Tai in its final state.

Mochi under the broiler just like mom.

Mochi covered in nori sauce and wrapped in bacon

No gangsters welcomed.

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