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 33

My plans for today got disrupted part way, but it wasn’t a problem in the end. Details below!


Matsuyama City, temple 52 – Taisanji



As I reached the main gate to #53, a lady car-pilgrim gave me a sweet potato roll and a can coffee. Just as I was starting to feel hungry – very welcome! ^^


Matsuyama City, temple 53 – Enmyouji

#53 was the last temple I’m visiting today, so I phoned “costablanca” - the hotel I was planning to stay at today.

After confirming there was a vacant room and it was okay to stay, on taking my name the lady on the phone told me apologetically that they don’t accept foreigners. By policy. So I gave up staying there, whilst wondering if it’s really okay to put that sort of thing in hotel policy.

So if you should get the chance to stay here, I suggest that you please boycott them – discrimination shouldn’t be forgiven. (of course I don’t expect anyone reading the English version of my blog to come across such a chance to stay here)

I changed my plans to stay at a tsuyadou called Aokijizou a further 8 kilometers on.


A café shaped like a train which was by the road, I didn’t go inside though.


After walking for a while I ate lunch at an udon noodle restaurant.


The right picture is a road stop which I rested at. I also ate some not very doghnut-ish chocolate doughnuts.


The “Taiyou Oil Refinery” which was next to Aokijizou.


The Aoikijizou Tsuyadou

I came across KB-san about 5KM before reaching the tsuyadou. It seems he was also planning to stay there!

When we reached our destination, a man called HWS-san appeared and showed us around. He also gave us some information about where the next zenkon hotels and tsuyadou were and also gave us cup noodles and coffee as a settai.

I expect the mild night helped, but it was surprisingly comfortable.


Henro Day 32

I was able to visit 6 temples today.




After passing Misaka peak and descending some way, I came across this historic henro inn (not in operation now). Apparently it was built in roughly 1912.


Matsuyama City, temple 46 – Joururiji


The next temple is very close


Matsuyama City, temple 47 – Yasakaji


Matsuyama City, temple 48 – Sairinji


The salt base soup + butter ramen I ate at “Buta Tarou Ramen”. Delicious.


Matsuyama City, temple 49 – Joudoji


Matsuyama City, temple 50 - Hantaji


After descending from Hantaji on the way to #51 I came across a shop selling soy sauce mochi (kind of chewy rice cake) so I entered the store and asked for one. However, the lady running the store insisted on giving me 2 for free as a settai gift and also gave me 2 mandarins. What kindness! Both tasted great.


Matsuyama City, temple 51 – Ishiteji. From the left in order: the nakamise (shops within the precinct leading up to the temple buildings), main gate, main temple building.


The henro path leading out of Ishiteji.


I walked as far as Dougo town and bathed in the rather famous Dougo hot spring bath. It’s said to be the oldest hot spring bath in Japan.


5 mins walk from the hot spring bath – the dormitory hotel aimed at pilgrims “Dougo Ai”

The bed was comfortable, they have heating and cooling and I don’t know if they normally do this or not, but they lent me a yukata bathrobe.


Henro Day 31

I left my rucksack with Omogo Ryokan and visited the 2 temples in Kumakougen Town. Then I returned to retrieve it, spent some spare time at the library, then went to the supermarket to get dinner and breakfast. (pot noodles and makizushi)

After that I stayed the night at “Yayoi diner”, on the side of the route 33 road.


It was cold this morning. The picture is of #44’s main gate?


Kumakougen Town, temple 44 – Daihouji. The white stuff isn’t snow, it was probably caused by the mist. The left picture is the (second?!) main gate.


The henro path to #45


The earlier mist from above?


Kumakougenchou, temple 45 - Iwayaji


Some danish pastries and a banana I received from a car-henro pilgrim I met in the noukyoujo (the place where you receive the temple’s written sutra). I was eating them when another car-henro lady gave me a boiled egg. Just as I was getting hungry. ^^


Rather than take the old henro path again on the way back to the town, I walked the road route. Starting to see the beginnings of autumn leaf colouring.


For lunch I ate beef udon noodles and curry rice at an udon restaurant next to the supermarket.


The room at Yayoi diner. The jacket on the chair was given to me by the guy running the place. (it was his old one)