Day 34: Maeyama Ohenro Exchange Salon (前山おへんろ交流サロン)

A leisurely country road continues

The tomb for horses

At last, I’m heading to Okubo-ji, the last sacred temple of the pilgrimage. It was a long pilgrimage, and I was deeply moved by the thought that it would be only 10 Km left. Along the way, I saw some small temple, various Jizo statues, and stone signposts, which reminded me of my long pilgrimage. Interestingly, there was even a horse grave with a picture of a horse carved on it.

They recommended tougher route 🙂 via Mt.Nyotai where the autumn leaves are beautiful

Maeyama Ohenro Exchange Salon

It took me about an hour to get to the Ohenro Exchange Salon in Maeyama, and I arrived just before 9:00 a.m. When I went in, they said they would offer a certificate of the completion of the Shikoku pilgrimage, a memorial badge, and a DVD with pictures of each temple. Here I was appointed as a Henro Ambassador.

The pilgrims put their votive card to the map where they came from

An impressive woodblock print of pilgrimage

Change of the votive cards from Tenmei (Edo era) to now

Based on the number of completion of pilgrimage, different colored votive card is used

The same Nokyo-cho (stamp book) should be used for recurrent visit,
hence it’s almost red after 300 completion of his pilgrimage

At the Ohenro Exchange Salon, I could learn a lot about the history of Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage. Surprisingly, there were also some people who had done the pilgrimage more than 300 times, and in such cases, their stamp book became bright red as they kept adding red stamps on the same book.

There was a map where pilgrims put their votive card for each prefecture they were from. It seems that a lot of people from Tokyo visited here after their pilgrimage.

Each location of the 88 sacred temples is shown on the Shikoku island display