Last Friday I went about three hours south-east of Tokyo to a place called Nokogiri-Yama in Chiba prefecture. It’s taken me a while to get my ar*e into gear and go to this place which isn’t in any of your guidebooks but is still a refreshing break from city life. I went with my mates Asif and Gideon and though there were many people there, it was nothing like the crowds that would be at the touristy places in Tokyo.
It was a lovely hot day so we walked up the mountain rather than taking the cable car which had a bit of a queue for it. Coming from the concrete jungle it was very refreshing to see the mass of green rolling hills on the western side of Chiba’s Boso Peninsula as well as Kanaya Port and the coast of headlands, bays and islands.
It was a real feel good view and rewarding for the steep 330 metre ascend. Next up were the 1500 stone figures of Tokai Arhats (novices in the beginning stages of the path to enlightenment) lining the mountainside path. At times it looked like a fairground shooting range stall as many of them had been destroyed. Lots of them were headless which gave me the opportunity to use my ‘Austin Powers‘ lines such as:
“not a good time to lose ones head”
“not the best way to get a-head in life”
“pity he wasn’t more head-strong”
“guess he’ll never be the head of a major corporation” etc etc.
The main attraction though was Japan’s largest Buddha statue which is 31 metres tall and is perched on the side of the mountain. Fairly impressive stuff though I’m sure there are many buddha statues which claim to be the biggest, tallest, widest, longest, biggest reclining or whatever. More impressive was the lack of crowds compared to the daibutsu statues in Kamakura or Nara and the lawn which we could relax on while enjoying the view in the sunshine.