Sunday, 27 April 2014


Had a nice evening in Tokushima. The room was really nice. Got up early for 6:30 am breakfast, so I can catch the 7:15 am bus for the ferry.
Was able to catch the bus OK and made it on the ferry. Very efficient operation and everything is right on time. It was great there was free WiFi on the ferry, which is hard to find in Japan. Was able to catch up on emails and check the CBC and Ottawa Citizen news online.
When I arrived, the ferry terminal was connected to the local train. I thought lets just use it to get to the JR station (instead of taking a taxi), so asked how much and purchased my ticket. When I got to the JR station, I asked which platform for JR. So far so good. However, my good luck was soon to change. When the JR train arrived and everyone boarded I thought I am on my way to Hashimoto, which is 21 stops away and then change to the local train. Well, two stops later everyone piles off and I asked the conductor do I stay on for Hashimoto? He said no, platform 4 (adjacent platform). Had to wait 20 minutes for the train and then on my way again. I thought great. Wrong. We get half way to Hashimoto and everyone piles off. One other passenger says end of the line, get off. I go into the unmanned station (which seemed in the middle of nowhere) to check and see the next train to Hashimoto is in 30 minutes, however, which platform. I ask a guy and he said platform 1 disgruntledly. So I waited and got on the train and kept my fingers and toes crossed it would go all the way to Hashimoto. The good news is it did, however, now had to figure out how to transfer to the local train. I saw the sign to transfer but there was a gate and a machine to pay. This one lady saw I was an ohenro and said Koyasan to me. I said HUI and how much should I pay. She yelled at the station manager to let me thru the gate and I could pay him. So I went in and got my ticket and was told which platform and at what time. I thanked him immensely. As I waited, they had a booth selling tickets for reserved seats. It seems, the time I was going they had two cars designed so you could see the view sideways. I asked the lady how much. She said ¥500 and I asked her if the ticket I had qualified. She said yes. It was the best ¥500 I ever spent. It was a nice trip up the mountain and nice view. Kukai was happy to be in the mountains again.
When I brought my ticket at Hashimoto I asked if I could arrange for my ticket on the way back. He said you have to do at Koyasan. So, when we arrived, I went to check about the return ticket and was told I had to do it on top and to please get on the cable car. It was a nice view on the way up to almost 900 meters.
So when we arrived at the to,p I went to check on a return ticket and was told can only buy on the day I need it. I said OK and off to get on a bus. The good thing was when I brought my reserved seat ticket, she gave me an English pamphlet on Koyasan and could see where the temple (Daienin) I was staying at was. So when getting on the bus I asked which stop closest to Daienin. I found the temple and was able to check in. He was impressed I was an ohenro and here to complete my pilgrimage. I dropped my stuff in the room and headed off for the 40 minute walk to Kukai's tomb to give thanks for helping me to complete the pilgrimage.
Picture 1 is of the temple that looks out at Kukai's tomb. Pictures 2 & 3 are of his tomb. Picture 4 is of a shrine next to it. Picture 5 is of part of the long pathway of tomb stones on the way to Kukai's tomb. I was able to do my final routine and was feeling a little emotional that it was over. When I went to get my book stamped the guy was impressed I had done all 88 at one time. I said this was my final stop to give thanks to Kukai for helping me make it. I held up my walking stick and said he is happy to be in the mountains again. I gave him a Canadian pin and he gave me a special osame-fuda of an ohenro that has done the pilgrimage 236 times.
Since it was close to 4:30 pm; and supper was set for 5:30; and I had a 40 minute walk back; I thought I can check out more tomorrow and best not to be late for supper. Picture 6 is supper that was served in my room. The room is very nice.
It wasn't the best of weather with light rain, but since I was on trains for most of it, the weather wasn't a problem.
Well I made it and mission accomplished. My last stamp for my book.

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