Takamatsu Anime Locations for Ohenro and Poco’s Udon World

A loose anime location post for the Shikoku pilgrims (henro), otaku and udon fanatics who visit Takamatsu, where the anime Udon no Kuni Kiniro Kemari is set. For travellers, this post can serve as cultural context as you look for the exact view the anime shows, while the Shikoku Pilgrimage aruki-henro can reminisce about the familiar locations such as Yashima-ji that they passed during their walk.

Henro Day 37: July 27

Furu-Takamatsu (古高松) → Zoda Station (造田駅) → Tokushima Otsuru Ryokan (徳島市大鶴旅館) Temples: 87 (Nagao-ji 長尾寺), 88 (Ōkubo-ji 大窪寺) Weather: Sunny → Cloudy → Rain → Cloudy Travel Method: Train + Walking + Bus to Tokushima Distance: 17.6 (+ 5.2 km) 5:57. I see the pricing board in the train above the exit where the conductor takes the fare. Ehime and Kochi don’t have it. It’s on Tokushima trains. Wait, this train is going to Tokushima. So am I, except I’ll get off early and walk some 50 km. Significance is a function of self-inflicted hardship, indeed. I’ve been at this for over a month,…

Henro Day 26: July 16

Imabari City (今治市) Temples: 57 Eifuku-ji (栄福寺), 58 Senyū-ji (仙遊寺), 59 Iyo Kokubun-ji (伊予国分寺) Weather: Rain + Typhoon Travel Method:  Walking + Train return to Imabari Distance: 16.8km   Typhoon day! It’s forecasted to make landfall tonight, so I still have the morning to visit the temples clustered around Imabari. My hosts, having walked the Ohenro themselves, urge me to get up earlier.     I crawl out of bed at 6:30 for breakfast as I’d promised Akiko. She’s humming away, asking if I want coffee, and tells me to eat first. She gets a warmed up dinner roll and a tray of condiments. Orange juice…

Henro Day 24: July 14

Matsuyama City (松山市) → Kuma Kogen (久万高原) → Iyowake (伊予和気)  Temples: 44 Daihō-ji (大宝寺), 45 Iwaya-ji (岩屋寺) Weather: Sunny Travel Method:  Car + Light Walking Distance: (+42.6km) Today is a late day because Noriko-san, the Couchsurfing friend I’d met yesterday, is driving me up to Temples 44 and 45. Even though I was looking forward to a mountain trail between the two temples, a car is a much more realistic solution. I wake up late-ish, have breakfast, and repack all the things I’ve spread out over three beds my empty-shared room. The smell of mosquito incense is reassuringly thick, which means my tent will properly…

Henro Day 23: July 13

Matsuyama City 松山市 Temples: None Weather: Sunny with Clouds Travel Method:  Walking + Car Distance: None Glorious sleep, oh glorious sleep.  Real henro holiday. Henro-related things: zero. Today is errand day and lunch with a Couchsurfing host.  I drift into the living room, savour the yogurt, cereal, and cut fruits. I step outside onto the covered veranda and my laundry baked dry. Clean.  And it will stay clean for at least another day. Even the thought makes me giddy. I head out in search of a barber to shave my head. In this summer heat, even 2-inches has a noticeable difference….

Henro Day 20: July 10

Hirata Station 平田 → Michi-no-Eki Mima 道の駅みま Temples: 39 (Enkō-ji 延光寺), 40 (Kanjizai-ji 観自在寺) Weather: Sunny with Clouds Travel Method:  Walking + Train + Bus + Train Distance: 12 km (+78.1km) Tired of trying to sleep, I get up at 4:30am. I spent the past four hours lying on the hard plastic chairs – the ones that curve up into ridges – on the platform waiting room at Hirata station. I learned that the lights stay on for about an hour after the last train. The 3am and dawn were chilly. Outside it’s just a uniform darkness sprinkled with a handful of street lamps outlining angular contours. I walk down…

Henro Day 14: July 4

Susaki Henro Hut 須崎遍路小屋 → Agiri Kubokawa Michi-no-Eki アギリ窪川道の駅 Temples: None Weather: Rain Travel Method:  Walking + Train Distance: 18.7 (+ 19) km I wake up to a morning drizzle and check my foot. It’s still the size of a golfball,  but curiously not bruised. I’m lucky. A millimetre off and I would probably be back in Kochi City, in the hospital. I stop myself from looping yesterday’s fall in my head, from thinking about that one fateful moment, that one avoidable step. How things change so quickly. Unlucky enough to learn a lesson, but lucky enough to survive it. I snack on the…

Henro Day 12: July 2

Kochi City 高知市 Temples: 33 Sekkei-ji (雪蹊寺), 34 Tanema–ji (種間寺), 35 Kiyotaki-ji (清滝寺) Weather: Sunny Travel Method:  Walking (Train + Bus to and from last walking point) Distance: 20.7 km While the coffee is brewing I drop a slice sumomo, sour peach, in my mouth. In the bowl beside the red juicy cuts are yellow ones from the Tosa Buntan, a local pomelo-like fruit. My host brought them over from her parents’ house next door. Her drooping fruit trees had more than she could finish and her eyes lit up when I recognised the fruits. It strikes me how even a single fruit…

Henro Day 11: July 1

Kochi City 高知市 Temples: 31 Chikurin-ji (竹林寺), 32 Zenjibu-ji (禅師峰寺) Weather: Cloudy with Sunny Parts Travel Method:  Walking Distance: 17.1 km My alarm goes off in the pitch-black room. I resent it with a passion I never felt when woken by sunshine and the cheerful birds after a sleepless nojuku night. In the fog of fatigue after a first good night’s rest, I drag myself out of the fluffy comforter and soft bed, change, and head downstairs for the complimentary breakfast. My breakfast was waiting for me on a table by the window. It’s a full Japanese breakfast with salmon, tsukemono, side dishes,…