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Konomine-ji and the Aki coast

The next day we drove south towards the tip of Cape Muroto stopping off at each pilgrimage temple we came to. Some of these are perched in the forest on mountain tops with wildly inaccessible country lanes littered with mirrored hairpin bends, so tight you can barely get a vehicle around them.

But everywhere there were more pilgrims, dressed in their distinctive garb, exchanging greetings with us and praying fervently at the altars reciting their enlightenment passages in a manner similar to Tibetan Buddhists, clicking their rosaries and ringing the various temple bells as they pass. The imagery in these temples is different - more immediate and immanent with Buddhas wreathed in the fires of realization, and the images of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy, carrying baskets of fish, lobsters and clams symbolic of the tortured lives of fishermen in this treacherous ocean.

A panorama looking back along the coast towards where we camped at Geisei

Christine and Chris with henro partners walking the road on the South Coast

We took a mountainous detour to visit the Konomine-ji Temple near Aki. This is up a very steep winding loop road full of tight little hairpins. The temple is crowned by a forest glade and has sweeping vies of the coastline. We also found there was a higher loop road you can see on the map below, which we took up to an isolated lookout tower lost up a rough desolate track with 360 degree views of Shikoku and its southern extremity, lost in a little forest amid telecommunications towers and isolated horticulture operations replete with automatic spraying.

Fudo: Guardian spirit of enlightenment reminiscent of Tibetan Buddhism

View of the South Coast of Shikoku from Konomine-ji Temple near Aki

Scenes as we traverse the high loop to the lookout

The final desolate track (hard to find)

The crazy four storey lookout with a spiral stairway

Looking on to Muroto

Looking down at Aki

The crazy hairpins on the loop road out

The rice harvest is still hand tossed as in former times

The tiniest ever seaside shrine

A fishing village with distinctive architecture.
I have this down as Kirigawa, although it could be part of Nahari from its location.

Another pilgrimage temple Kongoko-ji

I guess this is Muroto town just short of the cape itself

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