Day 50 – The Chūgoku 33 Temple Kannon Pilgrimage, Japan – A Very Hot Day of Walking From Matsue to Yasugi

Day 50 – The Chūgoku 33 Temple Kannon Pilgrimage, Japan – A Very Hot Day of Walking From Matsue to Yasugi

For four days, a serious heatwave has engulfed the area through which we are walking.
I have been trying to be creative about how to handle walking all day in the heat.

We have already walked from Izumo to Matsue, and now we have to walk towards Yasugi, where temples #27 and #28 are located.

We have decided that since we are staying one more night in Tamatsukuri Onsen, we can complete the walk from Matsue to Yasugi, and then after we check out the next day, we can take the train to Yasugi and visit these two temples.

The walk was along a busy road with lots of car dealerships, and for the most part, was not very scenic.
We did walk by the Ohashi river, that connects the Nakaumi Intercoastal Sea with Lake Shinji.

Lake Shinji and the Nakaumi are both very large bodies of water that look very similar.
This part of the Ohashi river was historically a very strategic place for a clan to control.

We passed by an old burial tomb from the 5th century, right near the river.
It was a two-tiered, pyramid shaped burial mound, surfaced with stones and with a cylindrical ring on the top.

The square base and the sides were about 40 meters wide and the height was 8 meters tall.

It looked as if the top of the pyramid was deliberately cut off.
Some clay statues of a horse, a seat and a soldier, were found inside the pyramid.

It is believed that the chiefs of the clans that had taken control of the Ohashi River in this area, were buried in this old pyramid.

The heat made our walk difficult to enjoy.
We wanted to stop more often to cool off, but there were few places that looked good and no benches in the shade..

In a really tiny bakery run by a sweet couple, possibly three meters square, we bought a small banana cream bun to share.

We stopped to drink orange juices and iced coffees in a well-designed, modern cafe, but they had a very traditional meat centered menu with no food we could eat.

The heat made me lose my appetite anyway.
I just wanted to break up the walk and to rest in an air conditioned place.

We tried another small cafe, but they were having a bingo and karaoke party, and the whole place was set up with long tables and pencils.
We walked on.

By the shade of an ancient tree in a Shinto shrine, we sat to eat a bag of peanuts.
Under the trees, the breeze was almost better than air conditioning.

I tried to focus my camera on the rivers we passed, the seaweed growing in the rivers, and the sake brewery, and not so much on the car dealerships and gas stations.

We were really tired when we arrived in Yasugi.
We made our way to the train station and took a train back to our hotel.

It was late when we arrived back in Tamatsukuri Onsen, so we went straight to a nearby Izakaya to have dinner.
They recognized us from the night before, and made us a very good dinner.

The women’s hot springs pools were packed with ladies tonight.
Still it was refreshing, and so nice to be clean and fresh again.

Jules showed me his foot, since the skin of his small toe was torn from walking in the very hot day.

I have not developed a single blister on this pilgrimage.
I had knee pain at the beginning, and some flu symptoms that quickly went away, but no blisters.

As we walked, we talked about the fact that it is so much easier to walk long pilgrimages in the fall, when it is cooler.
In autumn, we do not need to drink so much water, we have more energy and we do not finish the day so drenched in sweat.

But learning to regulate our body temperature is part of the path to mastery.
Whenever I read stories about elderly people who died in Tokyo in a heatwave that reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit, I think that it is sad that we do not remember how to regulate our inner temperature to survive in extreme cold or heat.

Since a normal human’s body temperature is 36.5–37.5 °C (97.7–99.5 °F), there is no reason for people to die of heat when the temperatures around them reach 95-99 degrees Fahrenheit.

I will keep trying to adjust my own body temperature mentally, as we continue to walk in the exposed sun for the next three days…. After that, the temperatures are expected to fall.
Please wish me luck…

With a cooling mist of love and light,

Daily Stats:
Steps: 35,642 steps
Distance Walked: 26 Kilometers
Active Walking: 6 hours
Total Time: 7.5 hours

Total distance walked on the pilgrimage so far: 1027.5 Kilometers

Temple Visited: none

Accommodation: Onsen Hotel Gyokusen, in Tamatsukuri Onsen
A big hot springs hotel offering spacious, Japanese style rooms and a breakfast buffet
Has fabulous indoor and outdoor hot spring baths.
They have Karaoke singing rooms, entertainment and shops, but the top floor rooms, where we stayed, were very quiet and restful.

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