I woke up quite grumpy this morning, Okaasan seemed grumpy with me too. I was disappointed with the ryokan, which was really just a spare room in someone`s house. The bath and toilet were outside, the room was cold with broken window panes that rattled in the wind. I was kept awake most of the night, sometimes listening to their crying baby, and other times laughing at some comedy snoring that I was sure someone was doing on purpose. At breakfast I could not eat the raw egg, I had tried this previously and admitted defeat, and I could not eat the fish this morning, because it had eyes, watching me.
After a couple of hours of walking in a grumpy mood this morning, I had to enter a really cold dark long tunnel, but about halfway through I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, literally and metaphorically as I could see Hisami-san`s silhouette up ahead and hastened my step to catch up with him. Hisami-san told me to call him Sammy, and Suzuki-san still didn`t talk much, but kept on chanting. Sammy cheered me up with some Japanese proverbs which were difficult to translate, except for 剣禅一如 Ken Zen Ichi Nyo "The Sword and Zen are One."
At the long dinner table - seating about 10 of us - a man surprised me by asking, in soft well spoken English, for my name. Takashima-san explained that he worked for multinational companies so has learnt to speak English, and he said his friends had many questions for me. He obliged by translating their questions and my answers. It was relaxing to chat in English, this trip is a fantastic opportunity for me to practise my Japanese, but it is draining after a while, like an eight hour Japanese lesson everyday and my head starts to spin. Takashima-san's friends seemed surprised that I am Buddhist, most Japanese people I have spoken to assume that I am Christian simply because I am English.
- Distance walked today = 16.9k
- Distance walked so far = 360.8km
- Temples visited today = Temple 37; Iwamotoji.
- Koban visited today = nil
- Accommodation = Temple lodging and 2 meals ￥6500, Iwamotoji Shukubo, Kubokawa, Shimanto City, Kochi-ken 〒786-0004
- Expenditure today = Train from Susaki to Kubokawa near Temple 37 ￥540, one temple stamp ￥300, can of coffee ￥100, gifts from temple gift shop ￥1000, laundry ￥300.
- Settai = bottle of chilled tea from complete stranger