After leaving Meiseki-ji and walking along the mountain road for a while, I entered into Unomachi town. Along the henro road, there’re old beautiful houses, and the snow indeed matches with the brown walls of the houses and the blue sky. I like this contrast.
Matsuya Ryokan, which is mentioned in the travel magazine, is also very nice, and I would like to stay here someday.
Interestingly the wall of the rest place for pilgrims are covered with votive cards (When you use the the rest place, usually you put your votive card to the box). As you can see in the picture, there’re actually different colors of votive cards. And the color of the votive card corresponds to the number of completion of Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage like below.
- White: 1-4 times
- Blue: 5-7 times
- Red: 8-24 times
- Silver: 25 – 49 times
- Gold: 50 – 99 times
- Brocade: more than 100 times
And I actually saw this brocade one several times when I put my votive card into the silver box at the main temple… I simply cannot believe that there’re people who completed this pilgrimage more than 100 times 🙂
It was windy and very cold, and I was a bit worried because it suddenly changed from a sunny weather to a blizzard. Furthermore, I couldn’t find a place to eat lunch and I was getting hungry. When I saw a sign that said “How about fresh fried jacoten ?”, I passed it once, but I couldn’t resist and went in Ogata kamaboko store.
After checking the size, I asked for two pieces. Then they offered me one more as osettai. There was a space where I could sit down, so I asked if I was OK to eat it there. Then, they even prepared me hot tea and said,
“It’s windy and so cold today, so please be careful because the Kuma Kougen Plateau is two degrees colder than here and there would be much more snow.”
The jakoten (fish kamaboko) was really tasty, and the heart-warming reception restored my spirits 🙂