|Teddy Bears At Work - this one is clearly a fan of The Smiths|
It's incredibly peaceful. Behind the temple is the biggest cemetery we've come across - a spread of marble graves over the hillside. Most of the time we find small cemeteries dotted about the place here and there, but this one is on a city-scale. After visiting the temple and doing a bit of laundry Gayle scouts out a camp spot on a tree-lined ledge above the cemetery. There is a small and tidy hut for pilgrims to sleep in, and one of the temple guardians who is sweeping the grounds asks if we are sleeping there. But it's a small room and we are happy in our tent, we explain. He then motions to the vending machine and offers to buy us cold drinks. We say thanks, but no thanks, really, but he's insistent despite our efforts and in the end gives us a 1000 yen note (about £5) to get something. We are very embarrassed but feel obliged to accept. Oh dear, does he think we are doing the pilgrimage by bicycle? Do we look like down-andouts doing our laundry in the car park? We push our bikes up the hill and eat our tea with a classy view over the land, sun setting over the sea in the distance.
|such good-looking pilgrims|
|no, that's not our laundry|