After finishing my walk around Kyushu on the Kyushu Pilgrimage, this summer I started walking the Chugoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage which will take me through Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Shimane, and Tottori. I think it will end up being over 1500 kilometers. I started at Hinase in the east of Okayama near to Shoraku-ji, the third temple on the pilgrimage.
At Shorakuji the Niomon was undergoing renovation, and so was able to observe one of the craftsmen working on repairs to the Nio.
Instead of heading directly west towards the next temple I took a detour and headed NW to visit the Shizutani School, a school founded in the early Edo Period for common people. Some of the architecture there is listed as a National Treasure.
From there I headed over the hills to reach a tributary of the Yoshii River which I followed down towards the south and the next temple.
Towards the end of the day I stopped in at the Bizen Sword Museum where swords are still made in the traditional way....