Shikoku 2018

Day 30: Day off/Ritsurin Garden

Today was a day off. The only thing I had to do was move from Takamatsu back to Tokushima, where I spent the six first days. The train passes within a kilometer of temple 1, so I could just get off, and close the circle. But I’ve decided, if the weather is OK tomorrow, to walk half of the last leg from temple 88 to temple 1. We’ll see tomorrow.

I was up at 7.00, a kind of sleep in, sorted and packed my stuff, left my backpack with the concierge, and walked the 2,5 km to the Ritsurin Garden, one of the top gardens in Japan.

With the backdrop of Mt. Shiun, the park has 6 ponds, 13 landscaped hills, 1000 sculptured pine trees, rock arrangements and, according to the brochure, seasonal flowers. For seasonal flowers, my visit was badly timed – there weren’t any. I have no doubt that this garden is even more spectacular when the cherry trees or azalea blossom, or when the 1000’s of lotus flowers blossom on one of the ponds. But that said, it is a beautiful garden, even more so when you have it more or less to yourself because it is raining.

The waterfall, below is several hundred years old and is man-made, made to impress a travelling Emporer- it can be turned on and off at any time.

I took the bus back into the city, and ate stand up sushi at the main train station – both good and cheap. A pity I hadn’t found this before.

I just had time to collect my bag from the hotel and catch the snail train to Tokushima. On the train I wrote the blog for temple 88 and updated my growing list of expenses. A couple of people got off at Bando, to walk to temple 1, Ryozenji. I stayed on the train, and when I arrived in well-known Tokushima, I checked into the hotel, made myself a cup of coffee and washed all my clothes. I picked up the bag that had been at the hotel since I left Tokushima 24 days ago. Now also have all my clothes again, so I don’t have to wear walking gear. But, I will, at least until tomorrow.

There have been some heavy rain showers this afternoon. I managed to dodge the showers and get a sandwich and an Americano from Starbucks and see all the school kids sitting around waiting for the train or to be picked up by their parents.

Finally, a picture of my favourite car in Japan:

It is funny, but I would imagine that this car would be totally out of place in Europe, whilst ca. half the cars in Japan look like this – it’s called a carbus. I walked 5km off route today, so now I reached 153 km.

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