One carefree weekend, Mimi suddenly decided that she wanted to break in her new Hiking shoes. Since it was mid day and the trails around Nikko were a bit far, we decided to check out a place she found called Nokogiri-yama or “Saw-tooth Mountain” on the other side of Tokyo bay. This was an Edo period stone quarry on one side and home to the Nihonji temple on the other. Mimi read about some of the more interesting things to be found within the temple’s complex, but we weren’t prepared for how much better it would be than in pictures. It is amazing that this place isn’t overflowing with tourists.
Since we live in southern Kanagawa, we decided the best route would be to cross the bay via the Tokyo Wan Ferry (near Yokosuka in Kurihama) which is pretty huge and features multiple passenger floors along with a cafe and bar. Riding back across the bay as the sun set nicely concluded our day of exploration.
The view of Saw Tooth Mountain (鋸山) as you approach the shore.
As you disembark the ferry, this map of the area is there to greet you. I’m not sure why images of the Daibutsu and Kannon seem to be omitted.
We were running a bit short on time before the park closed so we took the ropeway up instead of hiking.
Once at the top, you are treated to some magnificent views of Tokyo bay.
The land around the mountain was shaped in pretty interesting ways.
Certain parts of the walking path were no more than haphazardly chiseled stone.
If you take the hiking path, it will drop you off at the base of the impressive Hyaku-Shaku Kannon. You can see the “View of Hell” (地獄のぞき Jigoku Nozoki) poking out into the sky on the left.
We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to climb up to the viewing point. Not sure why it has such an ominous name.
The view was quite calming and beautiful. Mimi and I took turns running between the camera and viewing point.
After descending from the chiseled stone, the path became quite nicely paved.
The winding stairs eventually lead you to the 1,500 Arhat statues (千五百羅漢, Sen-Gohyaku Rakan). They can be found all over the place leading up to the actual spot.
Mimi and I really liked the two chatting Buddhas seen here. It was really amazing to see the different expressions on each and every piece.
Next up was the Nihonji Daibutsu (日本寺大仏). But only after climbing through some moss covered passages.
The surrounding scenery and calm from not being amongst hundreds of tourists really made this a magical place.
The halo was filled with smaller likenesses of Buddha.
Some of which lost their fine detail to the wind and rain.
We were so taken in by the sight of the Daibutsu that we didn’t even notice the mounds of little Jizō (お地蔵様) charms off to the left under a tree until we turned back to leave.
There were some typical wooden prayer panels amongst them…
But the overwhelming amount of Jizō was really cool.
This particular one found a nice sheltered spot for himself.
On the cruise back, we were treated to the sunset on the western skyline.
Falling slowly behind Mount Fuji.
And to the east, the first glimpses of the moon made an appearance for the evening.
It only became more prominent as the two swapped. The other glow is just a lightbulb from the boat.
Just after the sunset, the silhouette of Fujisan became a bit more clear.
Then it was time to turn my attention to details around the boat.
For some reason I geek out and love taking pictures of manmade objects.
Especially if they have some wear and tear.
A string of the lightbulbs I mentioned earlier.
This tugboat was just starting to work as we relaxed and ended our day.