The Pilgrimage Part III


After descending from the hills, the pilgrimage ran along the busy costal highway.



The Old Coast Road

It was often possible to get off of the highway and onto the  old road,

which went through small coastal villages.



Fellow Pilgrims

I hiked for three days with two pilgrims friends. David Moreton, on the

left,  is a teacher at  Bunri  University in Tokushima  and  researches

pilgrimages.  David Turkington, in the middle, maintains an extensive

site in English about the Shikoku  Eighty-Eight Temple Pilgrimage at




Shikoku is good for surfing. I had lunch with this group of surfers, who
thought that a white pilgrim was about the funniest thing they had ever



The Cape

After two days of riding, I arrived a the southernmost cape of the island

where the temple was shrouded in mist.



Inappropriate Behavior

There are a set of rules that have been handed down over the generations

about how to behave on the pilgrimage. Among other things, pilgrims are

not to eat meat or consume alcohol. These two rules are routinely ignored.

Also, "inappropriate sex" is forbidden. If anything inappropriate was going

on during the pilgrimage, I certainly wasn't invited.



Lost and Found

As many of the pilgrims are advanced in age, they are forever forgetting

things. One person even left his denture on a bench in the temple grounds.



Five-Storied Pagoda

Some of the temples can be quite spectacular.



Tour of Kochi City

I met up with my long time friend Dr. Masahito Sakioka. Mieko came

down for the weekend and the Sakiokas showed us around the city.

This picture was taken in front of Kochi Castle.



Mieko's Pilgrimage

Mieko visited one temple with me and said that was enough. I was left

to do the remaining eighty-seven on my own. We are seen here standing

in front of an abandoned youth center in a small fishing village. The youth

have apparently all gone off to the big cities.



Hot Spring Resort

We spent a night at a hot spring resort before heading back to Tokyo.

Mieko is seen here broiling bonito over an open flame. After a total of

eleven days, I had covered 100 miles on foot and 150 miles by bicycle.

I will be returning in the fall to continue my pilgrimage.