Day 39 – The Chūgoku 33 Temple Kannon Pilgrimage, Japan – Walking from Miho Misumi to Hamada, and Seeing a Photography Exhibition In Orii

Day 39 – The Chūgoku 33 Temple Kannon Pilgrimage, Japan – Walking from Miho Misumi to Hamada, and Seeing a Photography Exhibition In Orii

This morning I woke up early, feeling a bit disoriented and groggy.
Morning rain was drizzling, the air was cool, and the streets were wet.
The prospect of walking in the rain did not feel great to me, but I did not allow myself to dwell on it.

I dressed up in what has become my hiking uniform, a pair of hiking pants, a long sleeve sun-shirt, a hat and a small towel tied around my neck.
We ate an early breakfast at the hotel, choosing from the buffet a miso soup, steamed rice with pickles, nori strips, Kombu and a small salad.

We put some fruit and water in our daypacks and walked to the train station to catch the early train.
Since we had walked yesterday from Masuda to Miho Misumi, today we took the train to Miho Misumi and continued walking north, towards Hamada.

We must’ve looked like an odd couple when we got out of the train, bundled up in our raincoats, and started walking in the rain.

But the rain stopped almost immediately after we started walking, and did not return all day.
In fact, it got very hot by the early evening.

The walk was mostly uphill, through the quiet rural countryside.
Farmers grew mostly rice, and many also had fruit trees.
The road gradually made its way back downhill and turned to the coast.

We stopped at a rest stop that sold local produce, to take off our rain gear, as the weather had already warmed up significantly.

From there we walked towards the coast, and started walking along the beaches and fishing ports, through the small towns and villages.

Mid morning, we stopped in the excellent and inspirational, “Gallery Fun & Café.”
This was the actual name of the place, and it turned out to be a very lovely stop and rest break for us.

Located in a renovated old fishing house along the coast in the village of Orii, the Gallery FUN & Café had a photography exhibition of photographs of actual walls, that looked like colorful, abstract paintings.
Some were truly magnificent!

We were taken by the owner to the second floor café, and we chose seats overlooking the blue sea.
Tasteful jazz was playing on the stereo, the furniture included stylish, modern wooden pieces, and there was a collection of old cameras on shelves that ran up the stairway.

The husband is an excellent photographer, and his wife prepared our good coffees and hot cakes.
A hot cake is a kind of pancake, and it was small, fluffy and tasty.

Both Jules and I got inspired to show more of our “art” photos on the blog, rather than just travel photos documenting our days.

I have been meticulously taking documentary photos of the landscapes we walk through, the mountains, the sea, the temples and the villages.

Both Jules and I also take daily many “Art Photos,” which I often do not post on the blog, thinking that I already send to my blog subscribers so many photos.

But I love those art photos, and feel that maybe it is enough that I describe the days in detail in words.
Maybe my visual diary that is in the photos I choose to post, should be more artistic and less documentary in nature.

The walk today was long, and hot.
I was feeling fatigued, but did not allow it to settle in my body. I simply kept on walking, and paid it no mind.

We had been walking for hours with no breaks, so when we came upon another small cafe in a rural village, we stopped just to give our feet a rest.

The owner and the few customers she had around the bar, held their breaths in anxiety, but smiled in relief when we greeted them in Japanese.

“Oh, they speak Japanese!,” was the cry of relief that reverberated across the small cafe.
We ordered a butter toast and a grilled cheese toast, and rested for half an hour.
We were thanked gratefully, with many bows, when we called after a customer who had forgotten her purse to come back.

It seemed like we had been walking forever, when we reached Hamada Port.
From there, it was a long climb up to town.
Most of the old town (dating from the 1600’s) seemed closed.
Some shops were closed for the day, but many places were out of business, and the once-busy shops stood empty and forlorn.

When we finally reached Hamada station, we took the train back to our hotel in Masuda.
It was dinner time by the tine we reached Masuda.
There are a few Izakayas (small restaurants and bars) around the station.

We chose one that served grilled food, and we had a lovely dinner of grilled Onigiris, a grilled fish, roasted eggplant, fried yam, tofu with okra, a big vegetable salad and a cold beer.

By the end of the day, as we walked back to our hotel, it seemed almost impossible that we had walked so long on our throbbing feet.
There is no doubt in our minds that it is our Spirit that carries us forwards, and that the flesh merely becomes a willing servant, doing its very best to be helpful and willing.

With love and blessings,

Daily Stats:
Steps: 34,853 steps
Distance Walked: 25.5 Kilometers
Active Walking: 6 hours
Total Time: 9 hours

Total distance walked on the pilgrimage so far: 813.5 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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