- Sunday 13 October 2013
- Weather: Hot, 26⁰C
- Temple: 23, (Yakuoji) 6km
- Accommodation: Camped in the tent at a services stop in Hiwasa
I had a great night’s sleep in the tent and woke up feeling refreshed but my knee was still a bit sore.
We took our time packing up and then walked the 3km around the coastline to Temple 23. When we arrived in the town of Hiwasa around 9am the whole town was out in traditional festival costume and it looked like we had stumbled upon a festival. I asked around and it seemed to be an all-day event where the locals carried portable shrines down to the beach, dunked them in the water and then took them back to the shrine.
It had been such a short walk to get there but my knee was aching, today was day 8 with no rest, there was a festival on and we had bumped into Patrick from Quebec who was also going to stay and watch the festival… So we decided to take a rest day and stay the night.
As three foreigners in Henro gear, we were almost more popular with the locals than the festival. We had our photos taken hundreds of times, sometimes with 4 or 5 paparazzi style photographers taking our photo at the same time, it was hilarious!
We wandered around taking our own photos of the festival and eating the festival food (takoyaki, fried chicken, frankfurters), then went up to Temple 23 to see the last temple we’re going to see for the next few days. There’s approx 70km before we reach Temple 24.
We came back down to the beach and watched as the portable shrines were carried into the water, it looked like hard work.
We’re staying the night in the tent at another services stop next to a train station. The timetable says the last train is at 11pm and the first one after 7am, so we should get a good sleep. It was a lovely restful day and great to see the festival.