Day Six: Kuma Kogen to Matsuyama (halfway)

Absolutely perfect weather, easy hiking, and a spotlessly clean room awaiting me at the end of the journey … makes for a delightful day but a boring blog post.

Really quite little to report from the trail, just a serene trek down the mountain. My day ended with a communal meal with other pilgrims; one gave me these paper cranes. And my seat was delightfuly labeled in Japanese.

My name written in katakana, showing me my spot at the dinner table

I’ll use the rest of this post to share some info about the wayfinding signs. While I have a guide book/map book, really what I rely on to get around are the hundreds (thousands?) of signs pointing the way. Indeed, the signs are so much a part of the pilgrimage that I think they’d be the most common thing you’d see in a google image search about Shikoku.

The higgledy-piggledy nature of the signs is what makes them so charming and human. Certainly many of the same signs and stickers show up again and again. But many are handmade, seemingly. Some I think offer words of encouragement or advice. Enjoy a selection of my favorites.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Love this photo essay, Elizabeth. Good luck, good weather on second half.


    1. Thank you! Sadly only one day left.


  2. Steph says:

    I’ve loved reading this so much, E!!! I’m so glad you did it, my brave friend! And you never even fell to your death;) phew!


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