The island of Shikoku has always been something of a world apart and even today Japanese jest about the island being a foreign country. It's not a place people move to but away from. Perhaps those that do move here are trying to get away from something.
Previous to this journey I had been here only once, and then for only one night in a city. In fact most of my life in Japan has been spent in cities. Once I started walking I was surprised to find that Japan still holds places of undeveloped quiet.
In fact, that's mostly what I've been walking through the past 10 days. When I got off the ferry and had a close look at my map I found that starting at Temple #1 would require me to walk north, then south back past the Ferry Terminal. So instead of wasting a half day to get to #1, I took off for the nearest temple in the circle, #18. This temple is just at the edge of Tokushima City and I very quickly found myself walking through the countryside, where of course there are no Internet Cafes. I spent my days walking, bathing in cold, clear rivers or under hoses, foraging food at the occasional supermarket or convenience store, and sleeping at abandoned elementary schools.
It's been an incredible 10 days. There are stories to tell and pictures to share and hopefully I'll get a few of them up here soon. At the moment I'm writing from a computer in a hotel lobby. I'm once again in a city and if all works out I plan to spend the night at an Internet Cafe. Then I can write at a little more leisure and perhaps share a few photos.
Until then, know that I am well and loving life. I hope you are, too.
Om namu Daishi henjo kongo.