For those reading who don't know me, or have forgotten my name, I am Neil Gordon and I intend to keep this blog up to date with my travel activities in Japan - taking place from mid July 2010 till some time in January 2011.
I'm English and am interested in the Japanese culture and language, as well as computers and technology.
The blog name neiltanken is simply my name + 探検 (tanken) - which means expedition.


Henro Day 5

Tokushima City, 16th temple - Kannonji

Tokushima City, 17th temple - Idoji

Today's inn - Ootsuru Ryokan

It rained all day today.
I wore a 'poncho' style raincoat, but it couldn't coverf my legs - allowing rainwater to pass from my trousers to my socks and collect in my shoes.
It was a rather unpleasant experience.
The lady running the inn ran me a bath then afterwords put my clothes in the wash and dried my shoes using newspaper and a electric fan.
She was a real saviour.


Henro Day 4

Some of the road from yesterday's guesthouse to Dainichiji temple.
29Tokushima City, 13th temple - Dainichiji

Tokushima City, 14th temple - Jourakuji
It started raining here
Tokushima City, 15th temple - Kokubunji
Tokushima City, The room in Sakae Taxi, a zenkon'yado

I used the bathroom and room that I suspect was used by one of the taxi drivers in the past.
I was together with 2 guys about my age, one who was part way through traveling all Japan on bicycle and the other had previously completed the henro pilgrimage on bicycle and intends to walk it all this time.


Henro Day 3

Today the path from 11 to 12 was mostly mountainous with 2 peaks (respectively 745 and 700 meters) to overcome.
I walked about 16Km including the road to the night's inn.

Some of the paths I walked...

Some of the views I enjoyed while taking short breaks...

A hut for resting at which I passed on the way

There is a grand bronze statue of Kouboudaishi about 2 hours walk before the temple.

Kamiyama town, 12th temple - Shousanji - Main gate & Main Building

I stayed at a Zenkon'yado (a place to sleep charitable to pilgrims) called Sudachikan which included 2 meals for a very reasonable price.
The following morning they also gave me a Sudachi mandarin and onigiri and took my luggage to the top of the next mountain by car and waited for me.

In front of the Sudachikan store

The bedroom in Sudachikan's guest house

I shared the room with an Australian I met on the way to Shousanji.


Henro Day 2

I visited the following temples after getting a good night's rest.

Awa City, 8th temple - Kumadaniji

Awa City, 9th temple - Hourinji

Awa City, 10th temple - Kirihataji

Yoshinogawa City, 11th temple - Fujiidera

I stayed the night at Yoshino Ryokan (japanese inn)

This was a very comfortable place too.


Henro Day 1

Yesterday I met with K-san, got on the overnight ferry and today finally arrived in Shikoku.
We went from Takamatsu station to Bandou, then walked to the first temple - Ryouzanji - and I bought the henro equipment and outfit I needed.
K-san is able to walk the first 5 temples with me while leading by example.

Me in the henro outfit in front of Ryouzanji's gate

Visiting a temple goes as follows:
Take off the hat (tsugegasa or just kasa)
Put on the Wagesa (buddhist stole)
Bow at the gate
Place the staff (kongouzue) in one of the provided holders
Wash (purify) hands and mouth at the Chouzu (for hygene reasons just pretend to wash one's mouth)
When there is a bell, it's okay to ring it (unless there is some notice saying not to)
Go to the main temple building, ring the bell if there is one and bow three times
Read the sutra
Bow and and put a votive card into the designated box
Go to the Daishidou temple building (this is devoted to Kuukai i.e. Kouboudaishi), ring the bell if there is one and bow three times
Read the sutra
Bow and and put a votive card into the designated box
Go to the Noukyoujo and get stamps and a sutra written into one's Noukyouchou (book for recording each temple's sutra)
Bow at the gate when leaving the temple

And so today I walked to the following:

Naruto City, 2nd temple Gokurakuji

Itano Town, 3rd temple Konsenji

Itano Town, 4th temple Dainichiji

Itano Town, 5th temple Jizouji

Kamiita Town, 6th temple Anrakuji

Awa City, 7th temple Juurakuji

I stayed at Guesthouse Ishida in Awa City

The host lady was very kind, the food was delicious and the room was spacy.



Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine (at night)

Touji temple
Higashi Honganji temple
Nishi Honganji temple
Kiyomizudera temple
The Yasaka Pagoda
Yasaka Jinja shrine (at night)
Gion district - Maiko, Gion Corner (a sample of the following arts/performances - Tea ceremony, Koto performance, Flower arrangement, Gagaku performance, Noh Kyougen performance, Kyoumai dance, Bunraku puppet show)

Rain, didn't do much

1st Oct
Together with the 2 Australians I met at the lodgings
At Saga - The Bamboo Path, Nonomiya Jinja shrine, Lunch at a small restaurant called Adashino

2nd Oct
Together with 1 of the Australians
Sanjuusangendou temple (apparently the longest wooden building in the world)
Yasaka Jinja shrine (daytime)
A temple which I forgot the name of, but it took an admission fee.
Display and small shop related to anime Yojouhanshinwataikei
Various Shrines and temples on the way to Heian Jinguu shrine
Heian Jinguu shrine (they were preparing for a music concert inside the grounds)
The old Kyoto Imperial Palace
Cycled by a large chunk of the Kamogawa river

3rd Oct
Checked out "Tezuka Osamu World" - watched an animation showing the birth of Atom Boy then read some of Tezuka's manga "Zero Man"
Kyoto Manga Museum

4th Oct
Nijoujou Castle
Kinkakuji temple
Shoukokuji (and the crying dragon)
Shimogamo Jinja shrine
Ginkakuji temple
The Philosopher's Path
Get on the overnight ferry to Takamatsu in Shikoku from Koube port