Have I lost my marbles?

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What follows are my diary entries as I walked the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage…
 

Sep 30, 2013

Obviously I’ve lost my marbles… A week from today I will be starting the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage, a 1200km walk around the island of Shikoku in Japan, visiting as the name suggests… 88 temples. I will be joined by Dave, the guy I met on the coast to coast, and the only other person crazy enough to attempt this with me… I say attempt as we will be camping and carrying all our gear, fighting off wild boars, poisonous snakes and 20cm long venomous centipedes.

(There should hopefully be some sushi, sake and karaoke in the mix as well).

I keep asking myself why I’m walking again, haven’t I suspended reality for long enough? Shouldn’t I be working or studying, figuring out what to do with my life and where to live? And why didn’t the answers come to me on the camino?

And then I found this quote on a blog (http://henro2009.wordpress.com/) and fell in love with the Bohemian-Austrian poet, Rainer Maria Rilke:

“You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you… to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”  – Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) from Letters to a Young Poet

 Ok, so I’m not that young anymore, but I still like it!

Temple 1 here I come!

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5 responses to “Have I lost my marbles?

  1. It’s so interesting to find out that you were inspired by the same Henro2009 blog! I used your handy free lodgings guide while I was completing it this summer. Thanks for being so thorough!

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  2. Hi Kat
    I’ve just finished reading your entire 88 temples blog – all I can say is WOW!
    So inspiring and motivating!
    My husband and I did the Camino Frances this year, since returning all we can talk about is going back to do another walk. I was on the Camino forum and came across a member sharing your link.
    A Japanese friend we made on the Camino had suggested the Shikoku temple pilgrimage but until reading your blog we hadn’t seriously considered it. Now it’s definitely something we will attempt.
    For non Japanese speaking pilgrims, how difficult would it be? I think that could be our biggest challenge.
    Thank you for including so much detail and all the costs.
    We live in Melbourne so our airfares at least will be minimal!
    Nick

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    • Hi Nick, looks like you’ve got the bug too 😉

      As for Japanese, if you can learn hiragana and katakana before you go (2 of the 3 alphabets), then you would be able to read and understand most menus in restaurants/shops etc… But if you’re not fussy with what you’re eating you’ll be fine without speaking Japanese 🙂 it might be worth asking your accommodation each night to call ahead and book for you the following night’s accommodation just so you know you have somewhere to stay (unless camping or staying in the huts). I met 4 Dutch people and various other foreigners on the trail when I was out there and they didn’t speak Japanese and were eating and finding places to stay so I think you’ll be fine 🙂 ask away if you have any questions, happy to help.

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      • Thanks Kat!
        I’ve just discovered the Shikoku forum which I’ve been devouring.
        I don’t eat meat – do you think I’d find enough veggie and fish dishes.
        I’m sure I’ll have more questions as time goes on. We don’t anticipate doing the walk until at least 2017.
        Where are you going next? We are in the process of thinking about next year – so many choices, we’re very lucky
        Nick

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