From 70 metres to 780 metres up we went. When the road ran out, our path continued into the forest, more steeply, beside a stream, crossing it many times on little bridges. We were glad that we had slept at the base of the mountain; being fresh we could appreciate the beauty more.
After a couple of hours we reached Temple 60 Yokomineji (Peak Temple), the most difficult to reach. The slopes surrounding the Temple grounds were covered in pink flowering rhododendrons.
The descent was more gradual. At Shirataki Okunoin Shrine, we saw 3 statues in a creek, guarding a waterfall.
We were surprised at Temple 61 Kouonji (Temple of the Incense Garden) to see large modern concrete buildings as opposed to the traditional wooden style.
Temple 62 Hojuji (Temple of Wealth and Happiness) has the oldest stone monument of the whole pilgrimage, but we couldn’t ask anyone which one it was.
Temple 63 Kichijoji (Temple of Mahasri).
On the way we received some biscuits from a lady on a motorbike, a small cake each from another henro, and 2 more cakes further on.
We also stopped at a little rest area set up outside a shop and made ourselves a coffee there. Nearby a henro rested after having climbed the highest mountain in western Japan, considered sacred.
Thinking that was enough for the day, we headed for Saijo Seibu Park. Before we could set up our tent, an official looking man arrived to tell us we could not camp there. We caught the train into Saijo City to find somewhere to sleep, as it was windy and threatening to rain. Another henro waiting for his train bought us a soft drink from a vending machine.
As the wind and rain pelted the windows of the Saijo City Station Hotel, we were glad of our decision.
(33.9126 N 133.1864 E)