I was sorely tempted to sleep in, seeing as I only had about 12 km and two temples to cover, but I forced myself up and awake and was out by 7:15am. The hostel was having a hanami picnic near Ishiteji at noon and I wanted to join them, at least for a little bit. Hanami, for those who don’t know, is cherry blossom viewing, where people have picnics under the cherry blossoms. Also, I figured it would be good for me to keep the same sleeping patterns – early morning starts and early bedtimes.
Because my knee hadn’t been particularly happy with the mountain slopes yesterday, I decided to take the bus down to the edge of Matsuyama City, close to Temple 46. From there, it was flat terrain so I hoped my knee would be happy with that.
I ate breakfast with the female henro from the previous night but the male henro was nowhere to be seen. I guessed he had left earlier. I guessed some henro started off some days very early, sometimes as early as 5 or 6am. In any case, we chatted some more and I wished her luck with getting to Temple 45.
My name is Marianne and this is my journal about that time I decided to complete the 88 Temple Shikoku Pilgrimage. It was both the most difficult thing I've ever done and the most amazing thing I've ever done. It was truly an experience of a lifetime.