Three days ago, it was raining and I tried to relax my tortured feet, I met a younger guy in front of a convini. He’s Japanese and was pulling his backpack on a trolly, which looked somehow funny. We just exchanged a couple of words, as he wanted to move on. An hour later I caught up with him and we started walking together for 2 days.
He was talking a lot in Japanese and I often didn’t understand him, because the rain was dropping on my hat and I had the poncho over my ears and my Japanese skill aren’t really that good as well. So he concluded on the end, I have bad ears 😀
Later I ask him how he deals with his stuff on mountain paths. He told me that he carries everything. Later I figured out that he avoids those paths marked as あしずり footpath.
The first night we spent in minchoku, a kind of boardinghouse with dinner and breakfast, which also serves as the local pub. This was nice, we were both wet down to the bones. Later I registered that he was irritated that I ordered beer for dinner. He felt he also had to drink. Later an elderly guy came in and I really had a good talk with him. It sometimes takes me a while to understand, but that’s part of such a conversation. Anyway the guy ordered more beer and my companion also drunk. I still had the feeling he didn’t like it, but hey, no one told him to drink! He’s old enough and should be able to decide, right? He was not able to break out of his Japanese Sempai-Sensei mind-border.
The next day we continued walking and at one point I extended a break and let him continue alone. I was irritated by his talking. It dispersed my concentration and it also got harder for me and of corse my shoes, or better to say the blisters they caused, bothered me more than walking alone. This might be surprising for some of you. When I walk alone, I often repeat mantras. This makes my mind clear and calm, chit chatting has the opposite effect and all in a while the tiredness of my sweated feet pops up in the mind and tells me to sit down.
Last night we spent in a hut for Henros after visiting Kongōfukuji.
In the evening he was bitching about other people leaving their trash there, because the woman, who cared for the place passed away some time ago. As if people would know. Then he tried in a very subtle way to give me orders and that we should make a free day. This was the point I realized I didn’t put up borders strong and clear enough and that I have to continue alone. This morning I packed and went towards Enkõji, which I hopefully reach before the Taifun. Tomorrow I’ll first pass Shinnen-An, a hut which was constructed by the legendary monk Shinnen on his way back from Enkōji. Yūben Shinnen wrote the first guide for the Shikoku pilgramidge, which was recently translated to English. I’m excited to see that place 🙂


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