Day 4: A Temple in the mist
We awoke to pouring rain at 04:30 am and broke up our camp under our rain ponchos. Everything was drenched and we proceeded to climb our way up to the Temple in the heavens, Temple 12 (Shosanji). Arriving at the Noukyosho office looking like drowning rats, the monk at the desk puffing away on his cigarette ushered us inside and had us sit next to the propane heater in the office hall. When I showed him a photo of where we camped last night, he seemed impressed and was concerned about me being cold. He then told us to wait while he went to his living quarters to find us some food.
According to legend, the monk Kukai cornered a dragon into a cave up here behind the inner sanctuary....
After we read up about the legend, the monk appeared with two steaming bowls of ramen noodles and bestowed them upon us as ossetai.
Down the mountain we meandered, just to be followed by another nasty climb and once that was over it was downhill all the way onto a paved road running parallel to a river that took us all the way to 7/11 and Temple 13, arriving well after closing time with nowhere to sleep. We rang the doorbell of the caretaker, a lovely woman who told us we could camp on the wooden temple veranda, covered and safe. Not only did she provide us with sanctuary for the night but also brought us ossetai in the form of two bowls of delicious, steaming corn soup.
As we go to sleep at Temple 13, I am in awe of the kindness of the people I have met along the way and an extremely grateful.