After 9 hours of night bus, not very pleasant and without having really managed to sleep, I arrived at Tokushima at 6am.
From November 24th to December 2nd, I’m going for a walk on Shikoku Island. It is the smallest of the four big islands of Japan. Rather rural and relatively uninhabited (compared to the rest of Japan), Shikoku is famous for its mountainous landscapes, its small fishing villages, several large cities with beautiful castles and especially the pilgrimage of 88 temples. Dedicated to Kôbô-Daishi (founder of the Shingon Buddhist school), it consists of walking around the island on foot stopping in each of the 88 temples. Usually it takes about two months to do it.
For my part, I’m going for a stroll on the south-east coast to visit the fishing villages, go hiking in the Iya Valley, with beautiful gorges and go visit the city of Kôchi.
First step of this journey: Tokushima. Located on the coast, it is here that the pilgrimage begins. After picking up my room in a small rustic hotel but with private bathroom (happiness) and having slept a few hours, I go visit the city.
Not many people in the streets. Tokushima is very similar to the popular areas of Tokyo except that the streets are less crowded and the city is crossed by rivers with pretty banks.
I take the opportunity to climb Mount Bizan, 290m above sea level, symbol of the city. As usual, it starts to get dark when I start the climb, the weather is cloudy and the wind is rising. Heaps of images scroll through my head during the ascent (there are bears in the corner?), But fortunately the climb takes only 30 minutes.
A little breathless? i finally reach the top, watching the landscape. I discovered on one side that Tokushima is much wider than I thought and on the other, the beginning of the mountains of Tokushima Prefecture. The summit of Mount Bizan is covered by telephone and radio antennas, an observation platform and a pagoda dedicated to peace. I stay a little, but the wind is getting stronger and I decided to leave. I go down again by cable car. The descent is impressive, the cabin swaying under the gales. Visit to the souvenir shop and return to the hotel.
Today, Wednesday, November 25, I leave for Minami, a small fishing village located on the coast. I probably would not have internet for the next few days. See you soon !