Attractions in the southern Boso area of Chiba prefecture |
Walking in the Nokogiri-yama mountain
Nokogiri-yama 鋸山, or Mt.Nokogiri is a small mountain located in the southern Boso area 南房総 of Chiba prefecture, next to Tokyo, has somewhat warmer climate and hardly ever snow in winter. Though the southern Boso area is known for good beaches and surfing spots, the area also has nice places to enjoy walking as well as sightseeing, and the Nokogiriyama is one of the must-visit places there.
Nokogiri-yama is a 330m-height mountain situated near Kanaya Ferry Port in the southern Boso area. Nokogiri-yama means "Saw-tooth Mountain" in Japanese that comes from its saw-tooth looking shape.
In the mountain, walking paths and stairways are provided to reach the sightseeing spots there, featured with stony hills and stone objects.
Going up a stairway, then, another stairway appears. The stairways continue to the mountain top that looks almost endless, but visitors will find it rewarding to walk through when they arrive at the observatory. Also, it’s nice seeing the tiny stone statues on the way there, cheering up visitors in silence.
In fact, the overall area of Mt.Nokogiri is the grounds of Nihonji Temple, one of the oldest temples in Kanto region of Japan, founded 1300 Years ago. Buddha related objects are found here and there along stairways, and that is another attraction of walking in Nokogiri-yama mountain.
The highlight of Nokogiri-yama is definitely the great view from the lookouts looking over the coastline. Since there is no mountain around Mt.Nokogiri, a panoramic view can be enjoyed up there.
The viewing point called Jigoku-nozoki (Hell peeping), on the sheer rocky cliff looks dangerous but visitors can’t resist approaching.. The cliff was generated while the mountain was a stone quarry in past days.
For people who don't want to walk all the way to the lookouts on the mountain top, a ropeway service is available and it is only a 4-min ride going up to the summit station. On the Mt.Nokogiri, there are two lookouts, one is near the summit station, and another one with "the Hell Peeping" is a 15-min walk.
After enjoying a stunning view, what visitors should see are two colossal statues, the Hyakushaku Kannon and The great Buddha. The great Buddha (31.05m high) at Nihonji Temple is actually the largest statue of sitting Buddha in Japan, much larger than the great Buddha (18.18m high) at Todaiji Temple in Nara.
Nokogiri-yama Mountain is reachable on foot from 2 stations, Hamakanaya Station 浜金谷 and Hota Station 保田駅, on the same line of JR "Uchibo-sen 内房線".
The overall area of the mountain belongs to Nihonji-temple (Admission fee is required. 600 JP Yen/adult), and there are 4 entrances on the mountain, 2 of them are on the mountainside, and others are at the foot of the mountain.
The way to reach those Entrances are;
From Hamakanaya Station 浜金谷駅
-- A 10-min walk to the Ropeway Station at the foot of the mountain, and a 4-min ride to the summit station near West Entrance.
-- A 10-min walk to the entry point at the foot of the mountain, and a 40-min walk to North Entrance on the mountainside.
From Hota Station 保田駅
-- 20-min walk to the main gate of Nihonji Temple at the foot of the mountain, and a 10-min walk to the Main Entrance. It will be a 40-min walk to the mountain top.
The West Entrance on the mountainside is reachable by car, but the road leading to the West Entrance is a paid road. East Entrance is also reachable by car and the toll fare is free, but it takes 35 minutes to go up the stairs to the mountain top from the East Entrance.
Getting to Hamakanaya Station / Hota Station by train from Central Tokyo
From Akihabara Station by way of Chiba Station (1781 Yen or 1960 Yen in total)
From Akihabara Station 秋葉原駅, take JR Sobu-sen Line going to Chiba Station 千葉駅 (50-min ride). From Chiba Station, take JR Uchibo-sen Line JR内房線 and get off at Hamakanaya Station 浜金谷 or Hota Station 保田駅 (Approx. 1 hour 30 min.).
From JR Tokyo Station by way of Chiba (1890 Yen or 1900 Yen in total)
From JR Tokyo Station 東京駅, take Keiyo-sen Line and get off at Soga Station 蘇我駅 (55-min ride). From Soga Station, take JR Uchibo-sen Line JR内房線 and get off at Hamakanaya Station 浜金谷 or Hota Station 保田駅 (Approx. 1 hour 30 min.).
*From JR Tokyo Station, It will take only 1 hour and 30 minutes by taking the train "JR Express Tokkyu Sazanami 特急さざなみ", but it charges an extra fare (1300 Yen). Also, some of Sazanami trains do not stop at Hamakanaya Station and Hota Station.
Nihonji Temple (Nokogiri-yama) 日本寺（鋸山）
http://www.nihonji.jp/ (Japanese website)
Nokogiriyama Hiking info by The Japanese Alpine Club
http://www.jac.or.jp/oyako/f10/c2050.html (Japanese webpage)
Nokogiriyama Ropeway 鋸山ロープウェイ
Tokyo Wan(Bay) Ferry 東京湾フェリー
http://www.tokyowanferry.com/ (Japanese website)