Updated: Nov 12
I started Shikoku o-henro pilgramage on June 16 from Matsuyama, which hosts temples 40 to 65. It is not the best to start in the middle, but my business trip to Hiroshima was a great chance.
Today, I am back in Matsuyama City to visit two remote temples. I bought all of my gears here back in June. So, it feels natsukashii or nostalgic.
In the afternoon, I went up to Iwaya-ji, the number 45.
It was tough climb, but as one of the people I met on the trail said, the most beautiful scenes were hardest to reach.
It was raining so I slipped and fell on the way down but luckily nothing serious happened.
The red momiji leaves against the background of misty mountains were exactly as we see such scenes in old paintings in East Asia.
A wooden ladder invited me to climb up to a small cave.
I could sit and meditate all day here. It was a feeling that cannot be expressed. Maybe a mixture of bliss, freedom, awe, inspiration, gratitude, sense of accomplishment, and joy.
I became aware of all of what was there at that moment. The leaves, the rain, the mist, all the visitors who were here before, and the ones who built all these.