Okay, I know it’s been a while, but I have a reason. Well, when I say a reason, it’s actually only a reason that covers about a month of my absence, but let’s roll with that. (The other 6 months was probably spent watching Netflix and/or every other tv show that has come out recently….but let’s not dwell on that.)
Recently I went back to Japan and did the second part of my temple pilgrimage!!! 420km over 16 days, incorporating 17 temples.
It was awesome all over again. And what was even more awesome was that I went to Japan purely for pleasure and it’s the first time I’ve done that in many, many years.
This time I walked the length and breadth of Kochi prefecture and dipped my toes ever so slightly into Ehime prefecture by visiting temple 40 as well. The path was mostly along the coast with jaunts up the nearby mountains to visit the temples. I wasn’t blessed with the perfect weather I had last time and I had the misfortune of experiencing one of the wettest, scariest, most miserable days of my young-ish life. Kochi prefecture is known as the path of ‘trials’ and in many ways it lived up to its name.
At temple 39 I received the turtle stamp, completing the back of my pilgrim coat. Now, I kind of feel like a ‘proper pilgrim’.
After my pilgrimage I flew back to Tokyo for a few days of shopping. On the way back, we flew very close to Mr Fuji and I had a glorious view of the snow-capped peak.
Planning 21 days of travel, including 17 days of staying in a different hotel/temple/b&b/ryokan every night made my eye twitch. It was a massive puzzle that required a lot of things to go right and I was blessed that it all went quite smoothly. These kind of puzzles give me extreme levels of stress, but also give me a massive sense of achievement once it is done.
Along with the sore feet, blisters, long days and eagles snatching food out of my hand (true story) there were also a few fantastic hot springs,
(although there was a bit of this too)
but all in all, it was another restorative experience.
So I’m planning on writing a day-by-day account like I did last time just to bore everyone senseless, but I’ll hide it up in the Ohenro menu so you can choose whether you wish to be bored or not.
Oh, and, I thought that there truly was a god when I looked at the Singapore airlines menu:
Because if you know anything about me, you’ll know about my unholy love of melon bread. And here it was being served to me on the FREAKING PLANE back to Australia!! Singapore Airlines, I bow to thee.
It wasn’t the best melon bread I’ve ever had, but then they followed it up with Singapore Sling ice cream and now I’m seriously questioning the loyalty I have for Cathay Pacific and their delightful free upgrades to business class.
Any who, I’ll stop rambling now.
P.S Melon bread forever.