Day 20: unexpected toxines

It’s a fair assumption to believe that a person who watched several times the movie “Into the wild” would not eat the first thing he gets a hold on, without knowing if it’s edible or not.

If, on top of that, this person has also read the book about Chris McCandless by Jon Krakauer, then it’s almost certain that he would not eat a bag of raw beans before checking if it’s safe to do so.

I fall into this category of people and yet, hunger prevailed when I saw some soy beans being sold along the way. What can possibly go wrong? It’s green stuff. Green stuff is always good, isn’t it?

No it’s not, you idiot.

Beans must be cooked so that certain toxines and anti-nutrients can be brought to a safe level, I learnt later.

Luckily I checked before eating too many of them. I didn’t feel good after a while though, but it might also have happened because of the heat and little amount of sleep I got last night.

The henro trail, in the morning.

After a long break to recover, I somehow forgot to take my walking stick with me. What the hell Alessio, get your shit together, man!

It bothered me a lot to go back for a few minutes and fetch it again. I can’t walk without it right now, so it had to be done. The stick has slowly become a part of my arm and it’s incredibly useful on a trecherous path.

One of the “tsunami” refuges that you can find along the coasts of Japan.

Cape Ashizuri was today’s goal and I had to take a bus to make up for the time I lost in the morning. 

Once I arrived there, I decided to walk around and explore a bit the different paths that go along the coast. It was slghtly crowded, however, so I chose a more private spot to stream a Facebook live video for my friends.

Kongōfukuji, the temple #38 of the o-henro.

Before registering at the minshuku where I will stay tonight, I collected my 38th stamp at the Kongōfukuji temple. It’s a beautiful facility (top picture) and well integrated with the woods that surround it.

From here to the next temple there are six different routes. I will have to pick one and follow it for at least two days. 

The shortest one of them goes back for a few kilometres along the same path I followed yesterday. It’s not an appealing option to me, so I will have a look at how to take a longer route without losing too much time.


People were surfing this morning. Lucky bastards.

This “planning phase” I have to do every day is probably one of the worst things of this pilgrimage. It’s mainly guessing where you will end up and hoping that the facility you choose won’t turn out to be crap.

Sometimes I just choose whatever funny name I like, in absence of more objective criterias (and/or reviews on Google).

So far it went wrong only a couple of times. Provided that I basically flip a coin every day to decide where I will stay, 2 bad nights out of 20 is a pretty good average.

We shall see at the end of the journey how this particular measure has evolved.

In the meanwhile, tomorrow, I will flip another coin and see what happens.