Sunday, March 10, 2024

Up the Yoshino River to Ikeda


A wayside Fudo Myo statue is a timely reminder that I am walking the Shikoku Fudo Myo pilgrimage as I leave the Teramachi district of Mima in Tokushima and continue west along the Yoshino River.

For these first three days of the pilgrimage, I have been following the river upstream as it heads almost perfectly East to West. I had spent the morning visiting interesting sites in Mima after first visiting temple 3 of the pilgrimage. The next cluster of three temples was around Ikeda 20-30 kilometers upstream, and also where I had a room booked for the night, so I simply walked West along the north bank as quickly as I could, forgoing any distractions.

After the three temples in the Ikeda area, I would be heading back down the river on the southern bank where another couple of temples lay.

The river continued to be wide as did its valley, and there were relatively few bridges.

The valley narrowed as I approached Ikeda, and the river made a turn here and eventually headed into the middle of Shikoku through the spectacular Oboke Gorge and the now-famous Iya Valley. Across from Ikeda the very steep mountainside is terraced with rice paddies and scenic villages.

Once I reached Hashikura I jumped on a train that crossed the river and took me to Ikeda. Hashikura is the site of the next temple but I wanted to return the next day for the next leg.

My room for the next 2 nights was perched high above the river looking down on the Shikinoue pedestrian suspension bridge.

The previous post in this series was on Ganshoji Temple in Mima Teramachi


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