Monday, February 12, 2024

From Futagoji to the Ferry


After visiting Futagoji Temple and having climbed Mount Futago, I head off along the narrow mountain road that skirts around the central peaks of the Kunisaki peninsula and that will take me to the main road running north to the coast and the ferry home.

There is a barrier across the road saying it is closed. I ignore the signs and carry on. I usually do this. Usually, there will be a small landslide or some construction that blocks vehicles, but which is easily passable by someone on foot. This time was the exception. The road was completely blocked by a ten-meter-high wall of mud, rock, trees, and debris.

A solitary worker assures me that I can clamber over the debris pile, which I do, and am able to carry on. To go back and go around the mountains on the other side, the only other route would have been at least a 15k detour

The first sign of civilization once I reach the north side is a small shrine, home to one of the many fire festivals that take place on the peninsula.

The road now descends almost directly north and gradually the settlements become larger.

The sun sets and as I don't carry a watch or phone I ask an older gentleman out walking his dog what the time is. There is a ferry around 7 and the next one is not till around midnight, so I'm wondering whether I should up my pace or not. He tells me then asks where I am heading. He offers to give me a ride the few kilometers to the port and so he invites me into his nearby workshop where his son is working on the family business. They are a father-son team of sculptors.

He mentions a temple in Hamada near where I live and asks if I know it. Apparently, they did a statue for it. I have long since lost the meishi, business card, that he gave, so I can't tell you their name. I regret not staying longer and chatting.

This was the end of my 5 day walk exploring the Kunisaki peninsula on foot in the late autumn of 2012, and the trip had just heightened my curiosity about the area and I returned again in 2017 when I spent longer walking the first part of the Kyushu Fudo Myo pilgrimage.


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