Day 4: Japan intensifies

Let’s start from the end. I’m currently sitting with 4 Japanese people who don’t speak English. 

One of them, an old man, is sitting on what looks like a chair that has been “his” for centuries. He is half asleep while holding a dog puppy on his lap.

His wife is talking to the other two guests of the minshuku. It’s a very humble facility, but at the same time very authentic. I really don’t think that my evening can get more “Japanese” than this.

The room is very small and poorly equipped. There is not even a toilet, let alone a shower. One of the other guests had to drive me to a onsen, a public bath. It was nice there, very relaxing, though the concentration of naked men walking around was way too high for my liking.

The hot water made me steam off all the sores and exhaustion I accumulated during the day.

At least I got to walk on a real mountain trail for the whole day.

Climbing from temple #11 to temple #12 took me around 6 hours. Once I arrived there, I ate the two rice balls that the owners of yesterday’s minshuku prepared for me.

Speaking of yesterday, I met two French ladies who were travelling around Shikoku and spoke Japanese. They helped me with solving a situation and it was nice to meet them.

The final part of the climb to Shōsan-ji, the 12th temple of the Shikoku Henro.

I hated the pilgrims who avoided the climb and arrived at Shōsan-ji by car or by bus. I know it shouldn’t be like that (me hating them), but I just can’t help it.

By the way, I just spotted two giant black bugs on the ceiling while writing this. Things will get intetesting tonight.

I thought it was a smart thing to do to get the cheapest lodging option. I was horribly wrong.

This place is so bad that it would get a negative 5-star if such a ranking existed.

I killed one bug but the other has disappeared. We will share the floor tonight then. Never cuddled with a disgusting bug before. It’s a day of “firsts”.

Surprisingly, my muscles feel fine now. The climb was demanding, yes, and at some point I was sweating so much that my wind jacket was completely soaked from the inside. But it didn’t break me. Up and down, twice, devouring kilometer after kilometer.

The lazy part of my brain would like to rest and avoid continue walking tomorrow. 

I guess I’ll have to shovel a slipper in his face, like I did with the big black bug.