A Day Trip in Chiba Prefecture from Tokyo
It’s easier than you may think to go on day trips to rural areas from Tokyo, and Nokogoriyama is a great example. There you can enjoy the wild part of Bōsō Peninsula (Chiba prefecture), gorgeous buddhist statues, and a good panorama of Tokyo Bay. To get there you must take a train and a boat, it may sound complicated but it’s not: transports are convenient, cheap and fun !
From Shinagawa station in Tokyo (on the Yamanote line) you can take the Keikyu Main Line that’ll lead you directly to the ferry for Chiba prefecture. Stop at Keikyu-Kurihama Station (1h00 ride for 800 yen). Then walk 15min to Tokyowan Ferry Terminal and take the ferry to the small city of Kanaya, on the other side of the bay, where the hike to Mount Nokogori begin. The city of Kanaya is quite lovely to visit. Next to the sea, it’s mostly occupied by fishermen.
From Kanaya, you can either take the trail and walk to the top (approx. 1h) or take the ropeway (500 yen one way). Last time I was there, I walked on the road to start the hike from the other side of the mountain (at Nihonji temple entrance) and I would not recommend to do the same as it was quite dangerous to walk on the road.
The hike is really beautiful, as you walk facing the cliffs of the old stone quarry. The vegetation is different from what you might have already experience in Japan, it feels like you walk through a green jungle. This scenery made me think about the movies Indiana Jones !
Once at the top, you’ll first admire the impressive sculpture of the goddess Hyakushaku-Kannon (30m high). This sculpture is relatively new but the atmosphere is something else, as you discover Mont Nokogori by this place, you’ll feel like you just discover a lost city in the Amazon. A few steps up and you’ll arrive to the top of Nokogoriyama. At 380m above sea level, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Tokyo Bay, Bōsō peninsula and Mt Fuji on a clear day ! The summit is located on top of the cliffs, and you can take few steps on a rocky mound in the void called Jigoku-nozoki (“a glance towards hell”) as you can see on the 1st picture.
Walking down the other side of Nokogoriyama, you’ll see 1553 little statues of Buddha before arriving to the heart of the temple Nihon-ji. There you’ll discover the biggest statue of Buddha in Japan (Nihon-ji Daibutsu) ! Carved from the rock in 1783 by Ono Jingoro, it measures 31m.
The temple Nihon-ji is more than 1300 years old and it’s one of the birthplaces of Buddhism in Japan. Nokogoriyama is still quite unknown by tourists visiting Tokyo but it’s definitely one of the best day trip from Tokyo. I thought this place was the most exotic place I have been in Japan !
Access: Keikyu Main Line (Shinagawa to Keikyu Kurihama) then
Tokyowan Ferry Terminal (Keikyu to Kanaya) ; total 1600 yen one way.
Ropeway: everyday from 9:00 to 17:00 ; total 500 yen one way