Thursday, July 24, 2008
day 206 - Yashima-ji
Yashima temple lies atop a 300m high roof-shaped plateau. The cable car had been suspended (ha ha), so we took a bus up a very hairy road.
Buddhist pilgrims (with white robes and hiking sticks) try to visit all 88 of Shikoku's temples. Yashima-ji is #84 (coincidentally where we both began and ended OUR pilgrimage.) This is also the site of the Battle of the Clans (see July 22.) The temple grounds are immaculate but the surrounding tourist attractions are sadly run-down.
A pilgrim praying at the Main Hall (13th Century.)
From the top of the plateau you get a good view of both the Seto (Inland Sea) and the city of Takamatsu below.
Father-and-son admire the mother-and-child tanuki. Her right breast is shiny from visitors' constant rubbing for good luck.
The Pond of Blood. Peaceful now, but if you stood on this spot 800 years ago after the battle of the clans, you would have seen the water turn red from the washed swords of the victors...