Mt. Nokogiri

Peek into hell at the home of a giant granite Buddha

Mt. Nokigiri, located in Chiba, is one of the three most famous mountains in the region, alongside Mt. Kanozan and Mt. Kiyosumi. Standing at a towering height of 329 meters, Mt. Nokigiri offers a breathtaking lookout point and is home to a temple complex that houses one of japan‘s largest Buddhas. This article will take you on a journey to discover the beauty and significance of Mt. Nokigiri, providing detailed information on how to reach the mountain, its unique features, and the cultural treasures it holds.

How to Get There:
Mt. Nokigiri is conveniently located on Chiba’s west coast, south of Kisarazu. Travelers can reach the mountain by train or car. If you prefer to travel by train, the nearest station is Hana-Kanaya Station on the JR Uchibo Line, which is covered by the JR rail pass. From Tokyo Station, you can take the Sazanami special express train, and the journey takes approximately an hour and a half. Alternatively, there are buses available at Tokyo and Shinjuku Station that will take you to Kisarazu, where you can transfer to the local Uchibo Line. For those traveling by car, the Aqua Line, a four-lane highway, is the recommended route to Kisarazu, from where you can head south to Mt. Nokigiri.

A Saw-Toothed Mountain:
Mt. Nokigiri gets its name from its resemblance to a traditional Japanese saw. This unique mountain stands out with its jagged cliffs and distinctive rock formations, setting it apart from other mountains in the area. Composed entirely of bare granite, Mt. Nokigiri has been a quarry since the Edo Period, providing stones for renowned sites such as Yasukuni Shrine and Waseda University.

The View from the Top:
Reaching the top of Mt. Nokigiri is a rewarding experience, as it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can choose to hike up the mountain or take the scenic ropeway, which departs from the town of Kanaya on the north side of the mountain. The ropeway ride provides a mesmerizing view of Tokyo Bay throughout the journey. Once at the peak, visitors can enjoy panoramic vistas that stretch as far as Mt. Fuji on clear days. The ropeway station also features a restaurant, telescopes for closer viewing, and a souvenir shop, allowing visitors to savor the beauty of the surroundings while indulging in local cuisine and purchasing mementos.

A Glimpse of Hell:
One of the main attractions at Mt. Nokigiri is the Hell Peek Point, a jagged cliff that protrudes from the mountain. This lookout point offers a spectacular view straight down, allowing visitors to witness vast areas of the Boso Peninsula and Tokyo Bay. On clear days, the iconic silhouette of Mt. Fuji can be seen in the distance. The ropeway station at the peak provides additional facilities, including telescopes for a closer look at the scenery, ensuring that visitors can fully immerse themselves in the awe-inspiring beauty of the area.

Nihonji Temple:
Located at the southern base of Mt. Nokigiri, Nihonji Temple is an officially designated Important Cultural Property. The temple boasts a rich history dating back 1300 years and serves as a picturesque Zen temple where young monks are still trained today. Visitors can access the temple via a stairway leading from the mountain’s summit, allowing them to seamlessly transition from the breathtaking views to the serene ambiance of the temple. Nihonji Temple offers a peaceful retreat where visitors can explore the intricate architecture, admire the well-preserved cultural artifacts, and gain a deeper understanding of Japanese Buddhism.

The Giant Buddha:
One of the most significant attractions at Mt. Nokigiri is the giant daibutsu, or Buddha statue, carved into the granite on the mountainside. Standing tall at 31 meters, this Buddha statue is one of Japan’s largest, surpassing even the famous daibutsu at Kotokuin Temple in Kamakura. The statue was constructed with the intention of praying for world peace, and the majority of its carving was completed in 1783. The sheer size and intricate craftsmanship of the Buddha statue leave visitors in awe, providing a humbling experience and a deeper connection to the spiritual essence of Buddhism.

Thousands of Buddhist Statues:
In addition to the giant daibutsu, Nihonji Temple is adorned with approximately 500 small statues of various deities, scattered throughout its grounds. These statues were once part of a spiritual sanctuary built over 21 years during the 18th century by craftsman Kangoro Ono and his students. Although the number of statues has decreased over time, the remaining ones continue to inspire reverence and serve as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the temple.

Mt. Nokigiri offers a unique and awe-inspiring experience for visitors. From its saw-toothed mountain profile to its panoramic views of Tokyo Bay and the Boso Peninsula, every aspect of the mountain is an invitation to explore and discover the beauty of nature. The Nihonji Temple, with its ancient history and cultural treasures, provides a tranquil sanctuary where visitors can immerse themselves in the teachings of Buddhism and appreciate the artistry of the statues and architecture. Mt. Nokigiri is a testament to the harmonious coexistence of nature and spirituality, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking serenity and cultural enrichment.

Keywords: Nature, Mountains & Highlands

Address And Maps Location:

Futtsu-shi, Chiba-ken

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