Day 7: No.23 Yakuo-ji (薬王寺)

By pushing the button pilgrims can notify drivers that you’re walking inside the tunnel

Usually people will not walk in such a long (sometimes more than 2 Km long) tunnel. However, Shikoku Henro Pilgrims have to do so several times. For such cases, some tunnels in Shikoku provide an electric signboard to notify drivers that pilgrims are walking inside the tunnel.

It’s first time to see seashore (Tai-no-hama) during this pilgrimage

I’ve been walking in the mountain for a couple of days, so it’s great to see such a beautiful seashore. And there’s a railway station, Tai-no-hama station, just in front of this seashore.

Classical Japanese seaside village

The signboard shows the evacuation place when Tsunami is coming

The left knees still sores, and the right side heel also starts to hurt because of blisters… It’s not easy to forget about it since all what I’m doing is just walking as pilgrim 🙂

When walking through “Kiki (木岐) town”, old lady walked towards me and gave me snacks as osettai. After that she talked about something called “Ika (Squid) Locket” and she said it is available in Tokyo…, however, I didn’t know what it is 😉 at that time. I now understood that it’s a kind of appetizer using squid.

Beautiful coast line continues

As mentioned in the previous posts, the Henro route sometimes divided into several branches. This time it happens around the entrance of Minami-town (美波町) and I selected the one connected to the coastal road, even though it is bit long way around. However, it turned out it’s worth to do so when I see this beautiful coast line.

Hiwase Chelonian Museum Caretta

You can see see turtles at this museum

One more bonus to take the coast line Henro route is that I can visit Hiwase Chelonian Museum. There’s beautiful seashores in front of this museum, where sea turtles come to lay eggs. I didn’t know that the total weight of eggs which a turtle would lay is about 12 Kg!

Yugi tower (瑜祇塔) in Yakuo-ji is conspicuous at a long distance

The main gate of No.23 Yakuo-ji

After walking around 23 Km from this morning, I finally arrived at Yakuo-ji. Along the approach to the temple, there’re several shops, and there’re also many people around. This last temple in Tokushima-prefecture is bit different from the other temples that I visited already.

33 steps slope called Onna-Yakuzaka (女厄坂)

The main temple of No.23 Yakuo-ji

Yakuo-ji is famous sacred temple for avoidance of bad luck (Yaku yoke) and there’re many visitors while there’re a few pilgrims. I feel bit restless to execute the routine, as they look at me…

People puts a coin on each step.

I noticed that some people puts a coin on each step of the slope. It is said you can reduce the bad luck by doing so. And there’s indeed a lot of coins.

The temple stamp of No.23 Yakuo-ji

Dedicated toYakushi-Nyorai (薬師如来)
Founded byGyoki-Bosatsu (行基菩薩)
DenominationShingon-sect Koya-group (真言宗高野派)
Mantraおん ころころ せんだり まとうぎ そわか
On Korokoro Sendari Matougi Sowaka
Next templeNo.24 Hotsumisaki-ji (75.4 Km away)
I also visited Bekkaku No.4 Saba-Daishi Yasaka-ji
Previous templeNo.22 Byodo-ji (22.4 Km away)
No.23 Yakuo-ji