Saturday, November 4, 2017

Tokushima

Shikoku 88 Temples Pilgrimage, day 45.
Distance: 0km (1272.0km).
Weather: Nice, but with some ominous clouds.


After 44 days of walking, with literally no zero days, I think it is about time to have one. I think I need it now. Now, there will be walking today too, but it will be without my backpack on, that is going to be good. It was also good to sleep long for once, having no rush at all. There is only one thing I have to do today though, and that is to plan for my visit to Kōyasan. Otherwise, see what Tokushima has to offer, I had not much time for that when I arrived here. And I did not walk through the city either when on the pilgrimage.

The Pagoda Peace Memorial Tower at Mount Bizan.

Alright, so it might not be entirely true that planning for Kōyasan was the only necessary thing today. I also need to wash my clothes, and for that I have to walk a little to the closest laundry. While I wait for my clothes, I eat breakfast at a Lawson Station, not escaping those combinis yet.

View from Mount Bizan in the direction of Onzanji and Tatsueji temples.

I cannot help but think that I should put on my backpack and continue walking.

View of Tokushima from Mount Bizan.

Laundry done, I follow the river esplanade towards the city centre of Tokushima. It is a nice walk. Tokushima is so much bigger than I thought it was when I first arrived, back then I only saw a small part of the city. Saturday, so there seems to be a lot of things going on in the city. At a stand I get some free meat they hand out as a tasting. The meat tastes good, but the music they play is rather annoying.

Tenjin Jinja seen from the ropeway.

After looking a little around, I take the ropeway up to Mt. Bizan. Although not a high mountain, it has good views of the city. The greatest views for me though, is where I can look in the direction of where I walked on the pilgrimage. I can see north towards the area around Ryōzenji and the mountains I passed over yesterday. I try to discern which of the mountains are Shōsanjisan. Best of all is the view south towards Onzanji and Tatsueji, and the spider-passes I went across before those two temples. I am unable to pinpoint Mt. Benten. All these views are setting forth a cascade of memories. It was quite sunny when I came up to Mt. Bizan, but during my visit the sky has taken on a more dramatic hue with some ominous clouds in the horizon. It might be rain. Before taking the ropeway down again, I take a coffee at the manga and anime inspired café at the top.

Peek a boo.

Senshūkaku-teien.

I pay a visit to the Tokushima Castle Museum, not to visit the museum or the castle, but to see Senshūkaku-teien as I have grown fond of these Japanese gardens. This one is smaller than the others I have visited, but the area less in size than those is packed with beauty. It features a bridge that is built by one single large stone, which is one of the longest of its kind. The rain I saw coming from Mt. Bisan arrives when I am at the garden, but it is not much to speak of.

The stone bridge at Senshūkaku-teien.

I cannot help but think that I should put on my backpack and continue walking.

A ringwraith henro outside Tokushima Castle Museum and Senshūkaku-teien? No, just an art statue of a kind.

When I am in Tokushima the Awa no Tanuki festival is held. In replacement of my sugegasa, I can put on a sort of mask of a tanuki. There is a fair and a concert next to the river near the train station. The Japanese goes wild. I try out some local food from the various stands at the festival.

At a concert at the Awa no Tanuki festival. I have replaced my sedgehat with a tanukihat.

Now, having done some tourist activities, I go to the train station to get all the info I need for when the Nankai Ferry leaves for Wakayama and which trains that I have to take to get to Kudoyama tomorrow. My first attempt earlier was not fruitful, but now I get better help at the tourist information. I think they found it a little bit amusing that I arrived wearing my tanukihat.

Walking next to the Shinmachi river back to my hotel.

Walking back towards my hotel, the light on the sky is determined by the sinking sun and ominous clouds floating above me. Due to my plans for tomorrow, I go to bed early in the evening. Although, before my final night on Shikoku, I relax at my hotel room with my backpack packed and ready for the final adventure of my pilgrimage.

View of Tokushima from my hotel room.

It was a nice day in Tokushima, but it was still difficult to adjust to the fact that I was finished with the actual pilgrimage and had no more days to walk on Shikoku. Tomorrow, Kōyasan awaits.

My hotel room, I made use of every space I found.

<- RyōzenjiKudoyama - Kōyasan ->

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