From NO.2o Kakurin-ji to No.21 Tairyu-ji, first I go down from the mountain, then climb up again to another mountain where Tairyu-ji is located. During this downhill, I felt something is wrong with my knees.
After finishing going down from No.20 Kakurin-ji in the mountain trail, the Henro route is now easy slope in good condition up to No.21 Tairyu-ji, however the last 1.5 Km is steep again… I now fully understand why “Henro Korogashi – A steep trail letting the pilgrims rolling down” has additional statement such as “一に焼山、二にお鶴、三に太龍” – The first is Shozan (No.12 Shozan-ji), the second is Otsuru (No.20 Kakurin-ji), and the last is Tairyu (No.21 Tairyu-ji).
When I saw this main gate of No.21 Tairyu-ji after struggling with the pain of my knees, all the fatigues went away 🙂 It seems that people offered their small straw sandals in this main gate, to pray for their health.
The atmosphere of No.21 is solemn and it has such a stately main temple and Daishi-do that it is called “the western Mt.Koya”. I especially like the atmosphere of the main temple with some lanterns.
At the bottom of the downstairs from the main temple, there’s a ropeway station. Even though I enjoyed so much this quiet and solemn atmosphere of No.21 Tairyu-ji, it’s also bit sad that there’s very few people visiting such a nice place…
At the Nokyo-jyo, the person in charge was putting stamps on many (probably tourists’) stamp books in displeasure…Then he found me and kindly said that individual person should be prioritized. While he’s writing on my Nokyo-cho (stamp book), he asked me if I’m walking. He seems to be impressed when I answered yes, then he proposed me to follow one of the oldest Henro route called Iwaya-michi (いわや道) whose entrance can be found over the ropeway station. He also suggested me to have lunch at the ropeway station, because they offer hot tea as “Osettai”.
I knew that the Henro route to the next No.22 Byodo-ji is split, and one of them is Iwaya-michi which was recommended. I originally planned to go for other way (which seems to be longer but easier), but I decided to follow Iwaya-michi… (this was wrong choice for my knees if I looked back now :))