If you are looking to escape the more crowded tourist areas while you are in Japan, why not take a trip to Mount Nokogiri in Kyonan, located on the Boso peninsula south of Tokyo?
It’s a bit of a trek to get there, but it’s definitely worth it. When you get off the train at Hamakanaya station you’ll feel like you are a million miles away from the modern day madness of Tokyo, even the station itself is much more basic than usual. The ticket gates which you see at almost every station in Japan are absent, and instead a station worker will take your tickets.
Walking through the relaxed seaside town is lovely too, you can see the boats tied up in the harbour or pick up shells on the pebble beaches.
Once you get to the mountain, you can choose to either walk up the mountain yourself or take the ropeway (I took the ropeway). Be aware though, even if you don’t walk there will be lots of stairs as you explore the mountain after getting off the ropeway, so you’ll still get plenty of exercise.
The most famous attraction on the mountain is the largest stone Daibutsu (Buddha statue) in Japan which is over 30 meters tall, and was originally carved in the 1700s by a stone carver called Jingoro Einei Oro, (with a little help from some apprentices of course!) It dominates the mountain as it looks out over the sea.
As you walk around the mountain along the wooded paths, you’ll come across a thousand much smaller Buddha statues known as arhats scattered along the way. They are tucked into every nook and cranny as you make your way up and down the many stairs. There is also a second large Buddhist sculpture to be discovered on Mount Nokogiri, the ‘hundred shaku Kannon’, which is carved into one of the smooth walls left from quarrying the stone.
If you want some fresh air and a trip out of the city, head down to Kyonan and Mount Nokogiri! Click here for directions.
The best hiking route for beginners, Mt. Nokogiri in Chiba