The Henro route goes straight to the place where I saw from Zenjibu-ji the big white bridge reaching to Katsurahama Beach. When I arrived at the edge of the bay, right under the bridge, I found a guard on the wharf, and asked him where the ferry terminal is. Then he pointed that I just need to follow the road along the bay, but told me that I took the long way around…Aha, I should have made a turn in the middle before reaching the edge, oh.
I wanted to cross the Urato Bridge to Katsurahama Beach and see the statue of Sakamoto Ryoma, but there was too much traffic hence I felt unsafe to go, so I gave up and opted for the ferry. Because the ferry is considered as one of official pilgrimage route.
When I finally arrived at the terminal, there was a sign saying that the prefectural ferryboat “Ryoma” was in operation, and there were several people waiting for it.
A small ferry came from the other side of the bay, and as soon as the gates opened, a few people on motorbikes and bicycles came out. Now it’s our turn to get on. I wondered when we would have to pay, but it seemed to be free. This ferry is by far smaller in size than the one I took a few times in Norway to cross the fjord, but the atmosphere is very similar.
One of ferry passengers asked me how many kilometers a day I walk, so I answered him it’s about 35-40 Km. Then he seemed to be very surprised and said to me good luck.
No.33 Seikei-ji, the family temple of Chosokabe, has the tomb of Nobuchika. I like the story about the Warring States period in Japanese history, and Chosokabe family was one of my favorite, so I was looking forward to visiting this temple. The main temple seems to be rebuilt and looks much newer. It was a bit strange to see a man selling fruit in the precincts.
After I finished the reciting the Heart sutra and visited Nobuchika’s tomb, when I was taking a few photos at the end, I was asked by a elder lady, “Are you walking pilgrim ?”. She then handed me the pouch of coins as osettai. When I gave her my votive card as my gratitude, she told me that she and her son have been praying to Kobo-Daishi, and when they accumulate 100 votive cards, they’ll visit Mt.Koya to pay a visit to Kobo-Daishi. I thought there is such a way to accumulate merit.