Day 54 – The Road To Enlightenment – Walking The Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage – Walking Along The Miyazu Coastline, Japan


Day 54 – The Road To Enlightenment – Walking The Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage – Walking Along The Miyazu Coastline, Japan

After yesterday’s heavy rains, the sky today looked a little less grey.
We enjoyed a slow morning with the intention of walking a shorter day today, from Miyazu to Amanohashidate and back along the coastline.

The town of Miyazu was mostly closed.
The only busy place was the supermarket, which was like a mini department store with a big grocery attached.
It was full of people who were looking for something to do.

We walked along the coastline and saw that a famous seafood restaurant was grilling fish on its patio for takeaway only.
Their huge indoor dining room was all closed.
It is beyond me what the difference is between standing next to many people in the supermarket, and sitting next to them in a café, a restaurant or on the train.
It is impossible to make sense of a nonsensical situation.

The walk was scenic and the sea was blue and calm.
We passed by a cute café, and the owner was so glad to see us, we entered.
We were not hungry or thirsty, but it has become our habit to enter places that are open.

She made us a toast with butter and honey and a hot drink.
When we complimented her on the lovely interior design of her cafe, she told us that she had just opened this cafe about a week ago.
Before that she had been renovating the space for awhile.
We congratulated her and wished her success.
It was a gutsy move to start a new café in these times, and we really hope she will succeed.
We only saw a few dozen people walking around Amanohashidate, but we know that in normal times, this scenic area attracts 2.5 million visitors every year.
So maybe she will be successful after all.

The Japanese government is talking about easing the restrictions in place in most of the prefectures that have low rates of infection.
That would be awesome.
Not for us, since we will be finishing our pilgrimage in a short while, but for the millions who are lonely and unemployed or struggling with living under this intense fear.

We continued walking past Amanohashidate, along the sea.
The fishermen were out and we noticed that they had a unique mix for attracting fish, of fresh corn, little pink shrimp and what looked like dog food, all mixed with water.
They threw handfuls of this food into the water, and then cast their fishing lines into the sea, with a shrimp on the hook.

We stopped at a big park to have our tea and snack, sitting on a wooden day bed under a big pergola.
Pink and purple wisteria grew on the pergola, and the smell was wonderful.
We talked about our pilgrimage, about how it was affected by the coronavirus, and about our options and what we expect when we return home.

Things are opening up in the USA and restrictions are being eased, and our life in the mountains is isolated by its nature, so we might be OK with what is happening now.

We talked about the fact that Vail and Aspen have canceled their classical music festivals for the summer, and that we might be staying home more this summer.
We can always grill a Spanish paella in our garden and start our summer vegetable garden, which needs daily care and attention.

I can continue my painting project and Jules can continue his language study.
He is teaching himself French, Italian and Japanese.
We talked about what we have learnt during this pilgrimage, and where we had failed to master our lower selves.

As we walked, we saw the revolving Amanohashidate bridge being opened, to allow the flat barges that were carrying coal or bitumen offloaded from a nearby ship to pass through the channel.

It was a relaxed day of walking.
The weather turned very windy and cloudy so we decided to walk back instead of being caught in the rain.
We stopped at the supermarket to buy food for dinner.
They had an ice cream shop and we sat on a bench and had some ice cream.

Then we bought small packages of cooked food which we later divided into our dinner.
We bought roasted pumpkin, steamed baby asparagus, stewed eggplant in soy sauce, stewed wild celery with bamboo shoots, steamed rice with mushrooms and carrots, pickled daikon and cucumber and a pickled chinese cabbage.

For dessert, we ate fresh strawberries and bananas.
It was a good dinner and we ate it sitting at the low table in our room at the guesthouse.

After dinner, we went downstairs to the little lobby to use the internet.
We asked the owner to turn on the heater for us.
The name of the heater which was printed on the unit itself, was “Corona.”
We sat by the Corona heater and loaded photos to the blog and read some news.

We talked about the end of our pilgrimage which is coming in a few days and how we always feel a little sad when a pilgrimage comes to an end.
No matter how hard a pilgrimage is, we always feel nostalgic and wish that it were longer.

Jules suggested that it is because while we are on a pilgrimage, we call upon our inner strength and higher guidance, and when we live a more routine life, we do not.
It is empowering to be connected to your higher power.

With love and blessings,
Tali and Jules

Daily stats:
Steps walked – 15,130
11.5 km. walked
Active walking time – 3 hours
Total walking time today – 5 hours.
Total walking distance on the Saigoku to date – 931 km

Temple Visited:
None

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