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Aki Meguri Shikoku Logbook:

October 22nd, 2001 (Monday):
No temples today!

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.

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