Saw Tooth Mountain and Giant Buddhas of Nokogiriyama, Minami Boso, Chiba, Japan

nokogiriyama
It was the longest train ride I had as far as I can remember. A 3-hours train ride to be exact, but then again, a day trip out of the city is what weekends should be.

Residing in Yokohama, I should have push thru with my plan to take the Tokyo-Wan Ferry via Kurihama Port instead of the option of combinations of local JR Trains (Yokohama-Tokyo-Chiba City-Hamakanaya) just to reach Boso Peninsula. But it was weekend, I over-slept and failed to be at the port area on time, so I braved the very long train ride instead.

Minami Boso (Boso Peninsula) located at the southern tip of Chiba Prefecture is surrounded by bodies of water- Pacific Ocean on the east and south side while sharing Tokyo Bay’s Uruga Channel on the west with Kanagawa Prefecture’s Yokosuka, a known military base.
nokigiriyama-minami boso
nokigiriyama-minami boso

There are several popular places around the peninsula or the whole Chiba prefecture to be explore but for most first-timers like me Minami Boso means saw tooth mountain and giant Buddhas.

After sleeping, reading, listening to music and basically having breakfast on train, I finally arrived at Hamakayana Station (JR Uchibo Line).

To reach Nokogiriyama, a few minutes walk from Hamakanaya Station along the very quiet sea-side neighborhood is required.
nokigiriyama-minami boso
nokigiriyama-minami boso
nokigiriyama-minami boso
nokigiriyama-minami boso
nokigiriyama-minami boso

After 10 minutes, I reached the ropeway station, paid 900 Yen roud trip ticket and ascend towards the topmost station to start the hike.
nokigiriyama-minami boso

Actually, what I consider my starting point is marked by a small fertility shrine structure.
nokigiriyama-minami boso

Nihonji Temple encompasses the walking trail in order to view the rugged mountain peak and several Buddha statues and an entrance fee of 1000 Yen is required.
nokigiriyama-minami boso

Walking along the trail is relatively peaceful, covered by lush green scenery, there were only few visitors and majority are the occasional kids on a school trip. A total of 1 hour is needed to loop Nokogiriyama, with combination of stairs up and down, so better wear at least a comfortable rubber shoes.
nokigiriyama-minami boso
nokigiriyama-minami boso
nokigiriyama-minami boso

Mount Nokogiri which literally translates to “saw mountain” is a spectacular view from afar, as if a giant middle jigsaw puzzle piece is missing. While standing at the edge, the view below is comparable to what the Japanese called as “a peep of hell” (Jigoku-nozoki).
nokigiriyama-minami boso
nokigiriyama-minami boso

A misconception for many tourists and foreign residence like me is that a Daibatsu (giant Buddha) can only be found at Kamakura, but the truth is Nokogiriyama is home to two largest pre-modern, stone carved Daibatsu sculptures.

A 31.05 meters tall seated Yakushi Nyorai Daibatsu. Say “chiizu” kids!
nokigiriyama-minami boso
nokigiriyama-minami boso
nokigiriyama-minami boso

A tall image of Kannon carved into a quarry walls.
nokigiriyama-minami boso
nokigiriyama-minami boso

Apart from the two Daibatsu, one thing not to missed along the trail is the 17th century created 1500 Rakan statues. Distinctive with different facial expressions, at first glance they look almost similar to the one that can be found at Kawagoe.
nokigiriyama-minami boso

It is normal to see some statues with missing heads or hands, a casualty of an Anti-Buddhist movement during the Meiji era.
nokigiriyama-minami boso
nokigiriyama-minami boso
nokigiriyama-minami boso
nokigiriyama-minami boso
nokigiriyama-minami boso

Minami Boso’s Mt. Nokogiriyama is a highly recommended day trip particularly for families and for those who are looking forward on submerging themselves to Japan’s hiking culture. It combines three things that everyone will like- a cable car ride, a hike to the cliff edge and the many Buddha statues.

19 thoughts on “Saw Tooth Mountain and Giant Buddhas of Nokogiriyama, Minami Boso, Chiba, Japan

  1. Oh, so you finally went there, too? ^^
    I’m surprised to hear that this was your longest train ride thus far. I’ve been in trains almost a whole day in Japan or did a 9h ride on a ship. For my next vacation I’ll be on a ship for 24h – all within Japan, of course.

    You had absolutely awesome weather when you went. Luckily I did, too!
    Your photos are so much better than mine, though. I’m not sure if I already asked you, but what camera and lens are you using?

  2. Looks absolutely lovely – you should come to the US – the longest train journey I was on was 33 hours, but you can go for as long as 51 hours if you travel all the way from San Francisco to Chicago – it’s a wonderful ride. But I really have to head over to Japan soon. Thanks J

  3. Great information thanks. Just working on our itinerary for our next trip to Japan and information on this and a couple of other places has been quite limited. As we don’t speak Japanese I like to make sure I’ve done a bit of research in advance. Your photos are amazing, hope we also get a lovely clear day for the views.

    1. Hi, good to know i was able to help someone. I dont speak Japanese as well but i lived in Japan and travel quite extensively across the country too.

      Your approach is always the best – research in advance. Not sure if you know this but one of the best website for travel planning in Japan is is http://www.japan-guide.com.

      Have a good trip!

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