The weather is getting warmer. You don’t want to stay indoors. There are many brilliant things to do in spring. Have you tried hiking up one of the Japan’s mounts or hills? Before aiming for Mount Fuji, you’d better start with a less challenging path.
In Japan, they indicate the toughness of hiking course by a number. Mount Nokogiri in Chiba prefecture would be a good start for a beginner, with the difficulty of level 1. The Mount Nokogiri literally means “saw mount” and actually is 329.5 meters high. The shape of the mount is resembling the shape of a saw, and the shape of the hiking route resembles saw teeth.
The Mount Nokogiri is famous for its stone quarry history of Edo period and for the eldest temple called Nihonji Temple, which is a home of a large Daibutsu. Not to forget, in the Nihonji Temple area, you can see a large Hyakusyaku Kannon carved in the quarry wall.
The hiking route can be accessed from two stations. During my trip, I chose to start from Hama-Kanaya area as I prefer to hike to the top and get down by a ropeway. It was a little confusing as the trail starts from a regular road. You need to look for handwritten signboards showing the hiking route along the way.
It was an easy hike at first. I was very impressed with the nature. It felt like I was in one of the “Twilight” scenes where Jacob and friends might come out of nowhere running around the forest.
Once you get on the right track, the route is getting trickier. I was aiming for the New Observation Deck facing Tokyo Bay.
From the New Observation Deck, I could see another observation deck. The Jigoku-nozoki. Literally meaning “hell’s peep”. To reach it, I had to get down to half of the mount and then climb to another peak. The picture is showing the Jigoku-nozoki on the top of the mount. This picture was taken after getting down from the New Observation Deck.
On my way to the second observation deck; Jigoku-nozoki, I passed the quarry site. The quarry walls do add to the impact of the trip.
Leaving the quarry, you finally arrive at Jigoku-nozoki Observation Deck. See for yourself. The saw-toothed deck. Dare to take on a challenge and walk there!
The hike continued to Nihonji Temple, where I had to go down to the half of the mountain again, and hike to another peak. It was really like hiking by the saw-teeth route. The Daibutsu and Hyasyaku Kannon are something not to be missed if you are staying in Kanto region. The Nihonji Daibutsu is the largest compared to Kamakura and Nara daibutsu.
The trip ends at the ropeway observation deck where Mount Fuji can be seen from if the weather is clear. Saying goodbye to the top of Mount Nokogiri before going down by Nokogiri Ropeway, don’t forget to buy some Japanese confections made of biwa(loquat fruit) to bring home!