Day 61 – The Chūgoku 33 Temple Kannon Pilgrimage, Japan – A Beautiful Hike Along the Stunning Uradome Coast In Iwami, Tottori Prefecture

Day 61 – The Chūgoku 33 Temple Kannon Pilgrimage, Japan – A Beautiful Hike Along the Stunning Uradome Coast In Iwami, Tottori Prefecture

Our pilgrimage is nearly over.
We have only two more temples to visit and about a week of walking left to do.

The two temples we have not yet visited are Tanjouji, an unnumbered sacred Bengai, and Temple #4, Kiyamaji Temple, both located deep in the densely forested mountains between Tottori Prefecture and Okayama Prefecture.

To walk to these temples, we have to cross the mountains going south from Tottori city.
It is a distance of 109 Kilometers from Maniji Temple, Tottori, to Kiyamaji Temple, and most of the way is not supported by a bus or a train, to take us to our accommodations each night.

So we decided to “Bank” or “Store up” the extra kilometers we walk on most days, in an imaginary “pilgrimage bank,” in order to cut some of the unsupported distance, or to take a bus or a train if needed.

If I had to plan this pilgrimage again, I would visit both of these temples from Okayama, at the beginning of the pilgrimage, and we would finish the pilgrimage when we visit the temples in Tottori.

But now we have to make our way through the mountains.
We booked a stay in Yubara Onsen, located in the middle of the mountains about two days walk south from Kurayoshi, and two days north of temple #4.

To get to Yubara, we will take the train back to Kurayoshi, along the route we have already walked.
To make up the Kilometers lost by taking the train, we decided to walk today on another route, along the Uradome coast.

What a fabulous and scenic choice it turned out to be!!
The Uradome Coast (pronounced Ura-dō-mē) is made up of cliff rocks formed by marine erosion.

To get there, we took the bus from Tottori bus station and walked back towards the Tottori sand dunes, along the coast.

Before starting our walk, we stopped at a small cafe by the sea in northern Iwami, called “Tea Room Nakano.”
The owner, who saw that we had not come by car, and seeing how hot the day was, brought us a bag of ice cubes wrapped in a white towel to put around our necks to cool off.
Such a nice gesture!

We ordered two iced coffees and a buttered toast to share.
We intended to have lunch a bit later, in another cafe that we had spotted on the map.
Unfortunately that cafe turned out to be closed, and we regretted not having a lunch at this lovely tea room.

This is an important lesson on a pilgrimage… “A bird in the hand is better than two birds in the bush…”
Meaning that a good cafe should bd enjoyed NOW, because the next place might not be there at all, might be closed or having a day off, or whatever.

The walk along the Uradome coast was beautiful from the start, and it got even more beautiful as we entered the seaside forest and climbed up and down many hundreds of steps along the rugged mountains that line this coast.

Below us there were white sandy beaches, a dense scrub of pines, small jagged islands created from granite, and stunning vistas.

The coast stretches along the Sea of Japan, on the eastern tip of Tottori Prefecture, from Cape Kugami to Mount Shichiyama.

Marine erosion has formed these distinctive natural sea walls, cliffs, many tunnels and caves, and large rocks with unusual shapes.

Around every corner, the scenery took my breath away.
The temperatures during the day were very hot, but we were often shaded by the lush trees.

Once I made us go down a long set of more than a hundred steps that we had just finished climbing.
The path on my map was closed due to rockslides, and we had to climb back up the hundred steps we had just come down.

I told Jules to think of it as if he were going to the gym.
In the gym, he would be climbing many stairs on the stair-master, or running in place aimlessly on the treadmill.
This is the same, I reasoned.
We went up a hundred stairs, then down a hundred stairs and now back up the same hundred stairs.

Jules smiled meagerly.
“It is not like our legs are fresh and not already achy….
We have been climbing up and down hundreds of stairs already… but I am not complaining…”

I was also feeling my legs, but the beauty of the scenery had filled my heart.
I always find it harder to walk on a hot boring stretch of road.
The beauty of this coastline had energized me.

I was also in awe that I had somehow instinctively found this stunning walk.
I had not heard nor read about this coastline before we came here.
I merely looked at the map of the Tottori region, looking for a nice walk we could do on such a hot day, in order to “bank” some kilometers to deduct later for any train rides we might take.

We had almost no water with us on our coastal walk, and only a snack of two bananas which we ate sitting in the shade in front of the sea.
We ended our day at one of a chain of Japanese cafes called Doutor, having sandwiches and two hot coffees each..

Tomorrow we leave Tottori and so we will have a long day of walking through the mountains to Yubara Onsen.
With love and warm blessings,

Daily Stats:
Steps: 18,213 steps
Distance Walked: 13.5 Kilometers
Active Walking: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours

Total distance walked on the pilgrimage so far: 1212.5 Kilometers

Temples Visited: None

Accommodation: Taisuikaku Shitake Onsen hotel in Tottori
A Hot Springs hotel with nice Japanese style rooms, a lovely mineral hot springs bath, fast internet, and a central location near the Tottori station.
Offers meals by prior arrangement (we took only breakfast).

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