Day 38: Ame, Ame, Ame (10 April 2019)

Rain, rain, rain. It started at 2 in the morning. Up for breakfast at 6, still raining.

I have mentioned Christine two other times in the blogs. She is the Frenchwoman that Ayoyama-san and I first met at Micchan’s on day 20 and again on day 28. She and I decided walk together to Temple 60, Yokomineji. We started at 6:30 and did not get to the top until noon.

After getting directions from the priest at Temple 61, Koonji, we were off. Within a few minutes, we came up a row of elementary students with their yellow caps and umbrellas led by their sempie. What a wonderful group of children. Several responded in kind when I said ohiogozaemas (good morning).

Shortly, we made the wrong turn and got lost. After two false starts, we were next to a highway interchange. We flagged down a truck driver in order to ask for directions. He told us to hop in because where he needed to go was on the road that ohenro walk, that is, ohenro who are lost as we were. He dropped us off and we began our walk down the road until we came to a large gravel mining operation. We asked if we were on the right road. Yes, and shortly you will find a small road that will run into the ohenro path. Thank goodness for those Japanese lessons.

We walked for about 45 minutes when we came upon the alternate ohenro path. From there to the top, it was a rocky road. See Christine in the mist, and the big hole in the path. Look closely at the last photo. See the drop off to the left? I had to cross that part of the path twice.

We finally reached the top — from the bottom, an elevation change of 2400 feet. Here is a view of the hondo, Temple 60, Yokomineji. It certainly was in the clouds.

Christine decided to take the bus down while I walked. We started at 6:30 and I returned to ryokan at 3:00. More than eight hours walking – about 21 miles for the day. I ended by visiting Temple 64, Maegamiji, with its colonnades flanking the hondo.

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