A friendly lady welcomed me. I asked her how I should handle Kongo-zue, then she told me I should put aside in the entrance. OK, there’re some difference (Last night, they make it clean and brought it into the room), it’s interesting.
The room was bit narrow, but good enough for one person. After a call to my family, I went to the bathroom to heal my fatigues from long distance walk today.
The dinner was prepared for two persons (including me). It seems the other person had not arrived yet. So I had some chat with the landlord while eating. According to him…
There’re only a few walking pilgrims in this season (January, February), and the most pilgrims are visiting from March to May, and then in autumn. The trail up to No.12 Shozan-ji is famous for it’s steep trail called “Henro Korogashi (遍路ころがし) – which lets pilgrims rolling down”, and some non-pilgrims are visiting here to see how it is. Usually it took around 6 hours to climb up to No.12 Shozan-ji, but he said I may be able manage within 4-5 hours, after he knows that I arrived here before 16:00 today while walking from No.5 Jizo-ji today.
It seems that the other pilgrim has been doing “Gyaku-uchi“, and planned to arrive this Ryokan yesterday, but he postponed it by today. However, he still have not arrived even though it passed 18:00 already. So he’s still in the mountain while it’s already dark. The landlord made a call to him and confirmed that he’s now in Ryusui-an (柳水庵) – one of the temple between No.11 Fujii-dera and No.12 Shozan-ji – but then he told that the mobile phone cannot be used anymore due to lack of battery. We’re worried about him… According to the landlord, there’re sometimes such pilgrims, and that he said he may go up to Ryusui-an to pick him up… oh… that’s tough.
The landlord then touched upon the snow. He prayed that it may not snow too much tonight. Indeed yes… He then kindly proposed to prepare rice-ball for lunch tomorrow. That’s really appreciated.
Next morning, we met each other at breakfast. It’s first time for me to meet a walking pilgrim during this pilgrimage. He was bit unusual guy. He started his Henro Pilgrimage last November (already 3 months!). He said that the year 2016 was very special year because of the combination of “Hinoe-saru (丙申)“, leap year, and that if you do “Gyaku-uchi” then you’d attract good luck 5 times more than usual way. (What !?, but indeed I found such article in Japanese). He initially tried to complete it within last year. However, he injured his leg, and other pilgrim suggested him to do it slower if he has time, and then he’s now doing his pilgrimage while taking various pictures.
According to him, he stayed at “Sudachi-kan (すだち館)” for 3 days which is located slightly down from No.12 Shozan-ji. He visited several places around No.12 Shozan-ji including Ryuo-kutsu. He asked No.12 Shozan-ji to keep his luggage and headed to Ryuo-kutsu. However, the route include steep cliff and he was about to meet an accident in the mountain. The people in the temple No.12 Shozan-ji worried him because he din’t show up more than 3 hours, hence they started to search for him. He could manage to come back, but of course they got angry at him.
Last night, he initially thought that he may stay at Henro-goya (a small hut for pilgrim to stay) just below Ryusui-an. However, because of the above experience, he ran down to Ryokan Yoshino, because he could not talk about it due to lack of battery of his mobile phone. Hmm 🙂