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May 22, Tue.

OHENRO Shikoku Pilgrimage Part 3: Ehime

Bene and priest

Senju Kannon

Bene and local people

This week on journeys in japan, Bene continues on the third stage of her pilgrimage, through Ehime Prefecture. At a temple in the north of Uwajima City, she finds a small prayer house dedicated especially to animals. Bene discovers that all living, even plants, beings can become Buddha.

Walking the pilgrimage route alone, Bene discovers the natural beauty of the area and has many encounters with the local people. She also talks with other pilgrims, to shed light on the question she has been asking herself: "What drives people to set out on such an arduous journey?"

Temple 42: Butsumoku-ji
This temple is located in Uwajima City. The principal image is of Dainichi Nyorai. It also has a prayer house devoted to animals - the only one of its kind in the 88 temples on the pilgrimage. One verse of the temple's song says, "Even grass, even trees can became Buddha."

Temple 43: Meiseki-ji
The principal image is of Senju-Kannon. The buildings of this temple have been designated as a national tangible cultural property.

Matsuya Ryokan (traditional inn)
This long-established ryokan inn dates back over 200 years. Guests are served nuka-zuke, vegetables pickled in rice bran according to a traditional recipe handed down through numerous generations.
Pilgrims are offered a special discount rate.

Temple 51: Ishite-ji
This temple is located in Matsuyama, not so far from Dogo Onsen, a renowned hot spring bath house. The principal image here is of Yakushi Nyorai, the Buddha of medicine.

Temple 58: Senyu-ji
Located in Imabari City, this temple stands at a height of 300m above sea level. It offers scenic views of the surrounding area. Temple accommodation is available.

Traveler: Bene