Day 16: Another Walk in the Rain (19 March 2019)

7 AM. No temples today. Time to start another walk – my second in the rain. The first occurred during the awakening phase. Now, I am in training. I hope that these exercises are few and far between.

Aoyama-san and I walked 17 miles, almost all in steady rain. Before this pilgrimage, I don’t think that I walked in the rain further than from building to car. I took days off from training when it rained. Now, it seems natural though my fellow walkers and I would prefer dry weather. The weather is what it is and we have to make progress along the path. Below are photos of Monique (Joseph is waving in the background – today was his 64th tanjobi birthday, Ayoyama-san, and moi in our rain gear.

The rain creates its own mood and beauty. We stopped several times to take photos. The first is of the mountains near Aki City during a momentary break from the rain. The other was taken from the overlook at the Akano rest area. The final image was taken at sunset from the second floor dining area at Sumiyoshi minshuku (a small Japanese inn) after the rain had cleared.

We also took a small detour to visit the boyhood home of Iwasaki Yataro who was the founder of Mitsubishi. This company was one of a handful of companies that built Japan during the Mejii period. These companies were labeled zaibatsu; they were essentially monopolies that eventually helped support the WW2 war efforts. Germany had similar all encompassing corporations such as Krupp and IG Farben. Here is a statue of Iwasaki, his thatched roof boyhood home, and the rock memorial to him. He lived only 51 years.

After 10 more miles of walking and a brief stop for lunch (that’s Aoyama-san with a hot dog), we arrived at our minshuku. This one is located right next to the beach. I forgot to mention that several of these minshuku have washing machines available to o-henro. I have taken every opportunity to do laundry. We ended with another fine dinner; we had many more dishes than just the sashimi that is pictured. Every minshuku has a yukata and obi ready for each guest. Surely beats camping on the Appalachian Trail!

Another days ends. I did learn some very useful survival words. How do you say: small, medium, or large when ordering coffee or tea? The answer: sho (small), chu (medium), and dai (large), followed by onegasimasu (polite form for please). But one can’t say, chu shitai. That means, I would like to kiss you. Thanks for the heads-up, Ayoyama-san.

Tomorrow, 18 miles to enter three temples (28, 29, and 30) and Kochi City.

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