#60 Steven


Temple: Ishiteji – this is a really enormous temple that feels incredibly busy. It has a row of shops leading up to and many buildings and a museum on the temple grounds. It feels really active and not just a part of the henro route. It also has a network of tunnels running through the back of it.

Dedication: Steven is the nicest person I’ve ever met. That makes him sound very saccharine and boring but nothing could be further from the truth. I met him through Sam, we’d seen him on nights on and for a long time referred to him as ‘the guy with the bubble tattoos’. We were both fans of the performance artist David Hoyle and had been through the traumatic experience of having our portraits painted by him on stage. I lived in a shared house with him after I broke up with Ed and he was fantastic to live with. In fact during the break up he was the most sensible and straightforward of my friends, making things easy for me and Ed. I owe him a lot and love spending time with him. I’m thinking of you today.

It’s a rainy day today and I’m making slow progress but I spent a while here exploring the tunnels and caves, looking in the museum and just taking in the atmosphere. I’m going to stop and have a night out with Pierre and then Toppo in Matsuyama and let my feet recover while I do a bit of work.

As well as the tunnels filled with statues there were ancient burial caves on the mountain path behind the temple that once had carvings of the moon above them.