Mt. Nokogiri and Nihon-ji
Mt. Nokogiri (“saw-mountain”), as its name implies, is shaped like the teeth of a saw. This mountain forms the boundary between the Kazusa and Awa areas of the Boso Peninsula. In winter, we enjoy warmer weather in Kyonan-machi because the mountains here serve as a barrier from the cold northern winds. The name of our town, Kyonan-machi, meaning “south of Mt. Nokogiri”, is taken from this mountain.
On Mt. Nokogiri’s southern side you will find the Buddhist temple, Nihon-ji, dating back to 725 A.D. There are three approaches leading to the temple. The rope-way from the Kanaya side is a four minute ride, accessible from Hama-Kanaya Station. On the Hota side, there are two roads leading up the mountain. The toll-road takes you near the top, while the other leads to a free parking lot near the entrance of Nihon-ji (from where it is a short walk up). On foot, Nihon-ji and Mt. Nokogiri are also accessible from Hota Station.
Some “must sees” of Mt. Nokogiri and Nihon-ji are:
Nihon-ji’s Daibutsu and Hyakushaku-Kannon, two Buddhist statues sculpted into the side of the mountain;
Jigoku-nozoki (“a peep at Hell”), a view seen looking down at the sheer cliffs of the mountain;
1500 Rakan Statues (Buddhist saint statues), stone images made in the Edo period, each said to have a different expression.