Note: In the original Aki
Meguri pages, the Shikoku stage had no journal entries. Rather,
my thoughts and feelings were incorporated into the "Logbook,"
so you won't find separate journal entries here, as in the Old
Tokaido and Yamato stages.
|An unusual day: No
temples, no photos, a lot of forward progress (by train).
I left Hiwasa as expected, and reached
Tokushima station around 10:30. During "brunch" (at a
Lotteria fast food restaurant) I checked and answered my e-mail and
published my homepage for the first time in two days.
Walking back to
the station, I met a guy--providentially, as it turned out.
Tim Cornish, a Canadian photographer,
has done the Shikoku 88 twice, once by mountain bike. We chatted
for awhile about our experiences, then he gave me a most unusual bit of osettai:
It's a photo of the honzon at Temple Number 61.
He mentioned that a friend of his has laminated this photo--it really is
quite beautiful--and uses it as the honzon in his personal altar.
When we parted, Tim mentioned that he
lived at Number 1, and to call if I needed anything. "Just
call Number 1 and ask for Tim?" I asked. "Yes," he
said, "the number's in the pink book"--meaning Bishop Miyata's
book. It reminded me of that great catch-phrase in Kung Fu: The
Legend Continues: "Come to Chinatown. Ask for Caine."
So, I got on the train--for three hours.
I really thought I'd reach Kochi in time to hit a nearby temple or two,
but no such luck. Compounding the time trouble was the fact that
the Youth Hostel whose number I got off the Internet...closed three
years ago. So I had to seek out the cheapest business hotel I
could find. Kochi City is a good base for reaching the temples,
but it lacks a youth hostel. So I have to decide how to do this
effectively and economically.
Anyway, no temple today. So what
did I do about your prayers? Voila! I whipped out
Tim's picture, set it up in my room, and chanted away. Magic.
(I used the prayer for Dainichi Nyorai--Number 61's honzon; and
skipped the goeika, as that's specific to the temple.)
And so I'm in my room; there's thunder
and lightening outside; and tomorrow--if it's not too terrible
outside--I'll head down to Numbers 24-26 on Cape Muroto. However,
since I really want to walk the cape and see the sea views there, if the
weather still looks too bad I'll do some of the temples closer in to the
city, and save the cape for a more beautiful day.