Sunday, April 15, 2007

Trip to Nokogiri mountain and Nihonji

Nihonji trip
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Old video, but I made new version and some photos are added. Here I am crossing Tokyo Bay from Kurihama in Kanagawa prefecture to Kanaya in Chiba prefecture. I did not consult any travel guide before leaving and I just wanted to see what I will find. I was glad to discover nice uphill park with Nihonji temple and old Buddha statues.

Tokyo Bay is very busy waterway and crossing it is very interesting, because many ships can be observed from close distance. Our ferry had to change course several times, because of larger ships.

Container ship Tokyo
Image: NYK Line container ship

LNG ship Tokyo
Image: LNG carrier

After arriving in Kanaya port, I took ropeway up the hill. Here is photo from the hill. In larger photo, you can see ferry arriving into port and another one is departing to Kurihama.

Kanaya port, Chiba prefecture
Image: Kanaya port, looking North

Kanaya port
Image: Look towards South from Kanaya port

On top of hill is mountain park with several Buddha statues - big and small. It has some nice paths, which leads from temple to temple. Some of those paths was used by monks. It is very peaceful and remote place, which makes it ideal for meditations.

Interesting was Hyakushaku Kannon (百尺観音), which was carved in stone and looked very impressive between rocks. I don't understand meaning of name, but 百 hyaku means hundred, 尺 shaku - rule, lenght, 観音 - means "Goddess of Mercy" in English.

Image: Hyakushaku Kannon carved in stone

Image: Interesting cliff - Jigoku-nozoki, which means "look into hell" in Japanese

Image: Part of 1500 Buddha statues - Tikai Arhats

These are 1500 stone figure of Tokai Arhats. They were carved in 1798 and left in various places in rocks. Not all of them are preserved till nowadays. Looking on these Buddha statues was interesting, because every statue has different face expression. If you look on them from any point, it seems that some statues are watching you.

Image: Small temple

Park also features Buddha statue made of stone, which is 31.05 m tall. For comparision - Kamakura Buddha statue is about 13.35 m tall. According to park guidebook, this Buddha statue was completed in 1783 and construction took 3 years for 27 persons. It is also visible on Google maps, which you can check at the end of this post.

Nihonji Buddha statue
Image: Nihonji Buddha statue, which is tallest in Japan

I returned back in evening, saw some more ships.

Container ship in rough sea
Image: Ratana Thida on Tokyo - Bangkok route

From Shinagawa station in Tokyo with Keikyu line (red trains) to Keikyu Kurihama station (around 760 yen and takes more than one hour), then bus to Kurihama port (around 190 yen or taxi around 800 yen). It takes 40 minutes to cross Tokyo Bay with Tokyo Wan ferry (around 700 yen for one day, a little cheaper when buying to and back).

Alternative route - without crossing Tokyo Bay - by train from JR Chiba station to Hamakanaya station. It will take around 90 minutes with local train.

From station walk to cable car station (not long). Have to pay twice - for ropeway (around 900 yen for up and down, children half price) and for entry into park (600 yen, children for less).

Map where Big Buddha can be seen. Drag your mouse to see around this place or click on "-" to zoom out.


Alison said...


Just found your blog as I was searching for places to daytrip to... As I'm becoming a bit of a buddha obsessive (uh-oh!), thought I'd let you know about the Ushiku Daibutsu!

I can well believe that this Nihonji Daibutsu is the tallest seated buddha in Japan, and I thing I'll be taking a trip there soon! But I really recommend the Ushiku Daibutsu... It's a standing buddha, the largest statue in the world, standing 300m tall! And as you said about the Nihonji, nobody knows about it! I mean, come on, how you hide a statue 300m tall?!

More here

Hope it's of interest to you!

Happy travelling in Japan, fun isn't it?!


Mountaincat said...

Thank you for comment. Yes, its true that Ushiku Daibutsu is tallest in Japan. I did not know about Ushiku Daibutsu before, so I will correct this post about Nihonji Buddha.

Thank you and lets enjoy traveling in Japan!!!

lizardrinking said...

Hi, I linked your wonderful story here. I hope you don't mind.

Mountaincat said...

Arigatou and please enjoy your travels! :) Your post has a lot of useful information.