#45 Sam


Temple: Kanjizaiji

Dedication: Another Sam. This one is part of the Stoke Newington Poly Blob, as I affectionately call them. I met him with Ed a couple of years ago and we’ve stayed friends. He moved to Hong Kong at the same time I went travelling so I’ll try and catch up with him on my way back from Japan. He’s a great guy, and incredibly sarcastic and sharp so I’m sure he’ll love all my over-enthusiastic gushing on this site.

Picture: the sweet woman in the konbini last night gave me about ten wet wipes and five pairs of chopsticks with my meal when she learned I was a walking pilgrim.

Tough but still going. Thank you everyone for the emails with news, whenever I get them they pick me up.

I had amazing osettai today. I can only describe the committee who greeted me, at a stand set up for the purpose, as three Japanese dinner ladies. They presented me with a full meal including delicious red bean soup pudding and talked to me about football, Manchester, the Olympics and onsen.

I found a shelter to sleep under at the end of the day with a toilet and shops close by. An hour after I set up camp up strolls Pierre. He’d taken a mountain pass and I’d skipped 35km on a bus in my doctor leg quest.

We ate our dinner, did the usual pilgrim wash using a nearby sink then went and did our washing at a nearby coin laundry. There was a closed liquor shop nearby that had a vending machine so we had a couple of beers, some weird barley spirit and something that tasted like Fanta but was very alcoholic.

He’s doing 30-40km a day and my leg is better but I’m still only managing 25 so I probably won’t see him again but it was nice to catch up.