After exploring Kamakura, Nikko, we found another less touristy place, Mount Nokogiriyama. Nokogiri Yama (aka Sawtooth Mountain) is located in the Boso, Penisula in Chiba. It is known for two giant Buddhas, over 1500 arhats, temples and quarry caves. The mountain is also ideal for hiking with rewarding top view. If you are not into hiking, there is a cable car to the top to save the trouble and time.
HOW TO GET TO MOUNT NOKOGIRIYAMA FROM TOKYO?
When you search google map, it shows few options with different fare to get here. Since we got 5-DAY JR EAST PASS, we decided to use the JR route to reach here. From Tokyo station take the JR Sazanami Special Express to Kimitsu station. Transfer to the Uchibo Line and get off at Hama-Kanaya station. This whole trip takes approximately an hour and a half.
And Nokogiriyama ropeway is 10 mins walk from Hama-Kanaya station. There are signages along the streets so do not worry if you are lost.
Upon arrival, we went to a random restaurant to have our lunch before we head over to the ropeway. Most of the travellers are locals and we seemed to be the only locals there. The restaurant menu is in Japanese and thankfully there are photos displayed in front of the restaurant. That’s how I figured out my lunch of the day.
Once we are done with our lunch, we walked towards Nokogiriyama ropeway to start our journey up. We wanted to hike but then again it was almost 2pm so we decided to skip to save time. The ropeway closes at 4pm and hiking will take up almost 2 hours to the top. Moreover, the attraction places will take approximately 40minutes to an hour to complete. So, make sure you plan your time well and come early if you are planning to hike up.
THE HIGHLIGHTS OF MOUNT NOKOGIRIYAMA
Purchase the entrance ticket before you start to venture to the attraction places.
1. Jigoku-Nozoki or “peering into hell” cliff
The viewing point is awe-inspiring and I would say not an easy task. I took sometime to climb to the viewing point and take this shot. The railings from the viewing point serves as the safety measure.
2.Hyaku-Shaku Kannon (百尺観音)
Moving on is the 30-meter tall Hyaku-Shaku Kannon, depicting the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. It is carved in 1966 into a stone cliff and dedicated to soldiers who killed in World War II and civilians killed in accident.
3.Ishidaibutsu or “Big Buddha”
Stone-carved Daibutsu in Japan (31.05m) and it is taller than the famous Buddha Statue in Kamakura (13.35m) and Nara’s Todaiji (18.18m). It is one of the largest Buddha statues in Japan. The path towards this direction ain’t easy. It is deep down and had a hard time to climb all the way up. So, make sure you buffer your time so that you will not miss the cable car down.
4. 1500 Arhat
Arhat is define as one who has gained insight into the true nature of existence and has achieved nirvana based on Theravada Buddhism. Other Buddhist traditions have used the term for people far advanced along the path of Enlightment, but who may not have reached full Buddhahood. And the 1500 arhat statute here vary in size, shape and some are beheaded. The reason that was beheaded is due to anti-Buddhist Haibutsu Kishaku movement of 1868-1874, after the Meiji Restoration. Many Buddhist sites were attacked and damaged.
TIPS WHEN YOU EXPLORE MOUNT NOKOGIRIYAMA
• Be sure you equipped with food and drinks when you hike and explore the place. Each attraction places will take sometime to reach with different path
• The route path is ain’t easy. Steeps and stone trails so be sure you wear the proper shoes to hike
• This is not advisable for elderly because too many steps and it will hurt their knee and might not stand the trails
Lucky us as we managed to catch the last ropeway timing to get down. I would recommend you to come if you want to get away from the bustling city of Tokyo and do what the locals do. It is a quiet and peaceful place to visit and marvellous view not to miss. I am glad that we had this impromptu plan and decided to check out this place since we have the 5-DAY JR EAST PASS with us.