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 12

I walked about 30KM to #27 with MM-san today.

For reasons I don’t intend to expand on, today instead of staying near #27, I stayed 3 stops by train away in Seigetsu Ryokan in Aki City.

From tomorrow MM-san is letting me stay at his house. What a nice guy!


The 1.6KM mountain path down from #26.


Just before the 3.5KM uphill path to Kounomineji.


The path & temple’s main gate. The Torii (shrine gate) to the right leads to Kounomine Shinto Shrine.


Yasuda Town, 27th temple – Kounomineji


Yasuda Town, Tounohama Station


Aki City, Seigetsu Ryokan


Henro Day 11

I walked about 26KM today after completing the remaining 14KM to #24 and walking up till #26.
Since MM-san left the guesthouse before me and because I forgot my staff when I departed and wasted about an hour recovering it, I didn’t catch him up till #25 Shinshouji.
I was able to meet a couple again who I previously met in the restaurant near Shishikui.
They live near Muroto City’s Yasaka Shrine, and there’s a festival from 12 today, but unfortunately I already reserved my inn today and didn’t have the time to stay to see it.
I talked with them for a bit in their house, ate some Sekihan* & Sashimi*2 then had to depart again.
*Sekihan = Red Rice (Extra glutinous Rice cooked with azuki beans) eaten on auspicious occasions
*2 Sashimi = Cuts of raw fish eaten with soy sauce, wasabi and rice
‘Meotoiwa’ (couple rocks) which were on the coast
Yasaka Shrine in Muroto City. They are preparing for the festival. The girls in the right picture are Miko (shrine maidens)
A cave which Kouboudaishi (Kuukai) secluded himself in pursuit of enlightenment.
(A very small portion of) the stairs up to Hotsumisakiji
Muroto City, 24th temple – Hotsumisakiji
Alighting from the temple on the roadway, I enjoyed the above view of Muroto City.
Muroto City, 25th temple – Sinshouji. Reunited with MM-san.
Muroto City, 26th temple – Kongouchouji
I stayed the night here – within a sort of Ryokan belonging to the temple.
The hall as you enter the hotel & my room – it’s hard to tell from the pictures but it’s very spacey (for 2 people)
The things needed to make myself tea were placed on the table and dinner was Sashimi and Tataki (a lightly broiled katsuo tuna dish) plus the usual elements to a Japanese meal.


Henro Day 10

Continuing from yesterday, I walked another 27 KM today.

I walked for a while with MM-san, a professional Buddhist priest who I also met yesterday but didn’t write about in the blog.
We also stayed at the same place today.


Kannoura and a picture about 6KM on from there.


Some of the roads I walked


The entrance to today’s guesthouse Tokumasu


Henro Day 9

There is about 76 kilometers between yesterday's #23 Yakuouji and #24 Hotsumineji, so I'll be spending 3 days to get there.
I'll be walking about 35 kilometers to today's guesthouse. (The longest distance in my current plan)


I walked part of the 'old route' for about 500 meters, but there were no signs that anyone else had recently used the path.

I walked route 55 all day and gazed at the sea.

I saw several monkeys, but I only managed to capture this 1 well in a photo.

A henro rest hut in Kaiyou Town. It even has a bed and toilet!

"Shishikui Guesthouse" which I stayed at today.

I went to a restaurant about 100 meters from the guesthouse and they gave me coffee and a meal as a Settai*.
* In Shikoku, there is a tradition of giving small gifts etc to people walking the Henro trail called "Settai".


Henro Day 8

Today I had a choice between prefectural route 25 and national route 55 at about 6KM into the walk.
I could probably expect interesting scenery from route 25, but the roads are a little harder to walk and it's a slightly longer route.

On the other hand, route 55 is a larger, easier to walk road.
Normally I would have gone with route 25, but today my feet were tired and I had a blister so I went with route 55.


The rare luxury of a wide footpath.

A henro hut I rested at.

An interesting restaurant on the roadside. They seem to be providing "pirate food" inside a modified ship.

Minami Town, temple 23 - Rakuouji

The view of Minami Town from Rakuouji

A zenkon'yado provided by a restaurant called "Hashimoto Drive-in"

I slept inside a modified bus (lol)
Hashimoto even provided dinner.
I was able to sleep surprisingly comfortably.