Day 55 – The Chūgoku 33 Temple Kannon Pilgrimage, Japan – Walking From Daisen National Park to Kurayoshi, and Praying for Those In Need

Day 55 – The Chūgoku 33 Temple Kannon Pilgrimage, Japan – Walking From Daisen National Park to Kurayoshi, and Praying for Those In Need

This morning, the sun was shining brightly and the forecast predicted a very warm day.
But in the mountains, it was a pleasantly cool morning.
I only wore a long sleeve sun-shirt and was comfortable, but as the day warmed up and we were walking down towards the sea, it got much hotter.

Our destination is Temple #30 in Kurayoshi, a distance of 45 kilometers from the mountains of Daisen-ji towards the Sea of Japan.

We only planned to walk about 23 Kilometers today, and then to continue walking the rest tomorrow.
But we were doing so well that we continued walking longer.

Getting down from Daisen Mountain was not a steep descent, as one might have expected.
We had to walk along the peaks of the many mountains in Mt. Daisen National Park, including quite a few which are home to ski areas.
The walk was along a well maintained, paved road with almost no cars, which made it perfect for walking, since there were no sidewalks at all.

We saw a woman who came with her car to collect wild herbs and mountain plants to eat.
Forest foraging is a wonderful thing, and eating herbs and leaves, wild plants and forest mushrooms, is an old tradition in Japan, and a speciality of this area.

The ski mountains reminded us of home in Colorado.
The slopes were green and full of flowers.
But unlike Colorado, all the shops, cafes, restaurants and lifts were closed for the season.
The lift chairs were piled up neatly on the ground and were covered, waiting patiently until next winter comes along.

It was a beautiful and shaded walk today that was mostly through national park land.
There were lots of birds singing and beautiful trees, wildflowers, and best of all, swarms of tiny white butterflies who covered the trees like magical snow flakes flying in the air.

There were no places to stop to eat or drink today, so we took a few rest stops sitting on rocks in the shade.
We ate a rice ball each and some cookies that we had bought the day before.

We passed by a few dairy farms, including two that had shops, but they were closed.
I read that they make really good yogurt drinks, but we did not get a chance to taste them.
Maybe they are open only on the weekends.

When we reached sea level, we walked by rice fields until we got to the train station.
We took the train the rest of the way to Kurayoshi, and tomorrow we will complete the fifteen kilometers left to Kurayoshi Station.

We are staying in the historic section of town called Kurayoshi’s Shirakabe Storehouses (White Wall District).

These white-walled storehouses along the Tamagawa River, retain the ambience of their origins in the Edo period (1603 to 1868) and the Meiji period (1868 to 1912).

The area has been designated as one of the most important preservation districts of traditional architecture in the country.
The stone bridge spanning the Tamagawa River, and the red tiles of the shops and houses contrasting with the white mortar of these buildings, creates a lovely townscape.

The buildings, formerly used as breweries and soy sauce distilleries, now house a variety of local shops, cafes and sweets shops, galleries, and a few small eateries.

We walked around the small district, looking for somewhere to drink or eat.
We sat in a small cafe and had iced coffees and a strawberry tart.
Most places for dinner seem to close early, so we stopped at a Lawson’s convenience store and bought sandwiches, salad greens, steamed green soybeans and peanuts to eat in our room.

Our guesthouse is well located in the historic district. It is small, but clean and comfortable.
We got a very small Tatami mat room, but it is spotlessly clean, has a good air conditioner and a private toilet, and downstairs there is a good O’furu bath and a coin laundry.

It really has everything that we need.
I do not mind small spaces.
What I do mind is dirty or smelly places, and I do feel comfortable in cosy places, if they are clean and neatly organized, which this guesthouse is.

While soaking in the bath, I was thinking and praying for three people that I saw while we were in the convenience store.
A young, frail and very thin man who had a skin problem that caused his skin to flake all over, and two women who looked so very poor, their clothes seemed to be nearly in tatters.

I was feeling sad that some brothers and sisters walk the earth, ignorant of their Divine heritage as Holy and Divine Children of Love, and live in such sad conditions.

The women were too proud to accept a gift, and the young man who had such a skin affliction, is a soul that is not at ease in its human skin.
I mentally said to their Spirits:

“I now see beyond the temporal physical manifestation.
I see only the Divine in you.
I KNOW WHO you are in Truth.
I KNOW WHAT you are in Truth.
You are FREE
You are Free
Free to let go of the past,
Free to be at ease with the God within you.
You have a right to be here!
You have a right to be happy and healthy and beautiful!
It is your birthright!
May you know the LOVE that has created you Holy….”

Blessings to you, loved ones,

Daily Stats:
Steps: 39,898 steps
Distance Walked: 29 Kilometers
Active Walking: 6.5 hours
Total Time: 8 hours

Total distance walked on the pilgrimage so far: 1095 Kilometers

Temples Visited: None

Accommodation: Shofuso ryokan in Kurayoshi.
A small inn with small but very clean Japanese style rooms, an O’furu bath, fast internet and a good location in the historic Machia and white warehouse district of town.
Offers meals by prior arrangements (we took only breakfast).

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