Day 37 – The Chūgoku 33 Temple Kannon Pilgrimage, Japan – Arriving In Masuda



Day 37 – The Chūgoku 33 Temple Kannon Pilgrimage, Japan – Arriving In Masuda

For the past two days, we have walked from Hagi to Masuda, but we still have to cover a stretch of about twenty kilometers to get to Masuda.

Instead of getting off the train and walking the last twenty kilometers and entering Masuda on foot, we decided to take the train to Masuda, drop off our backpacks at the hotel, and walk the twenty kilometers in the reverse direction.

Masuda is located in Shimane Prefecture, which means that we have crossed over from Yamaguchi Prefecture.

We got up especially early this morning, to give ourselves plenty of time to complete the twenty kilometer walk to Masuda.

We had breakfast at 6:45 am, fifteen minutes before the dining room officially opened.
They opened it early for us and placed all our food on our table, at our request.

After a lovely vegetarian breakfast that included a variety of cooked vegetables and tofu in a herb miso soup, the manager of the hotel took us to the train station.
I really enjoyed our stay in this hotel in Hagi, and knew that our next hotel in Masuda, is probably not going to be a match for this level of service and comfort .
In fact, I think it is just a step up from a business hotel.

We arrived in Masuda, feeling dismayed to see all the factories by the foothills of the nearby mountains, dropped our backpacks at the hotel and started walking.
We crossed the city, with its small malls, tyre shops and many chain stores.

Masuda is not a big city, and soon we reached the outskirts of town.
We continued walking along the northern coastline, noticing that it was just as quiet and beautiful as the rest of the seashore that we had seen in the last few days, since we started walking along the northern coast.

It was too early to eat lunch, but I saw on my map that there would be no places for us to drink or eat on our path today.
It was another hot day of walking in the full sun, so when we came across the “American Café,” we stopped in.

The American Café had an American flag painted on its wooden sign, but that was the last sign of anything American.
A few locals were seated in the small café eating and drinking coffee. The ashtrays on the tables meant that smoking was allowed.

Luckily, nobody smoked.
The owner did not speak a word of English, and her Japanese was hard to understand.
I was wandering why she had named her café the “American Café.”
Perhaps the previous owner had named it.

She explained the morning coffee set menu to us, and we negotiated a plain “big toast” order and some iced coffees.

After our stop, we continued along the coastline, which gradually became more and more rural.

Instead of walking on the sidewalks of the shorter, busier road, we took the smaller roads through the quiet fishing villages.
It was nice to see how people live, imagine their life stories, as indicated by items we could see in their gardens, their garage, or their abandoned, vine-claimed wooden houses.

After we had walked about 15 Kilometers, we joined again the main road, which had a bridge over an intercostal waterway.

Right after we crossed the intercostal, I had a premonition that we should split off to a hilly small road, going to another small village.
This was a much bigger detour, and I stopped and talked it over with Jules, who immediately agreed.

As we meandered below the main road that we had walked on, we saw that it had become a kilometer-long tunnel, and I felt grateful to my inner guidance that had veered us away from the tunnel.

We climbed a steep hill overlooking the sea, and then descended to a small fishing village. We kept walking the rest of the way on that rural road.

When it was time to return to Masuda, we looked for the train station showing up on my map.

There was no car road leading to it, just an unmarked footpath climbing up from a tiny fishing village to an unmarked train station.
But still there was a train schedule, and we arrived in Masuda by late afternoon.

In Masuda, we stopped at a nice fruit café close to the train station, with free internet.
We ate a very early dinner and drank delicious, fresh grapefruit juices.

Our hotel is basic, but comfortable and clean.
It will do for the next three nights, in which we start walking forwards towards the town of Hamada.

It seems like the hotel is mostly used by cyclists, since it offers bicycle storage rooms, and places to adjust your bike and fix it, if needed.
We have seen quite a few cyclist hotels on our walk, catering specifically to cyclists or motorcycle riders.

The hotel does not have public hot baths, but I made a bath for myself, using bath salts I was given as a gift from one of the Onsens we stayed at.
I fell asleep while meditating in the bathtub.

My warmest wishes,
Tali

Daily Stats:
Steps: 26,803 steps
Distance Walked: 20 Kilometers
Active Walking: 4.5 hours
Total Time: 6 hours

Total distance walked on the pilgrimage so far: 760 Kilometers

Temple Visited: None

Accommodation: Railway Hotel Daiei, in Masuda.
A small hotel used mostly by cyclists, clean and comfortable, includes breakfast.

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