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Mt. Nokogiri aerial ropeway and the Buddhist temple Nihonji

About 70% of Japan is covered by forested mountains. We took the aerial ropeway up Mt. Nokogiri, in Chiba’s city of Kyonan, and enjoyed a spectacular view of Tokyo Bay. This was a stone quarry in the Edo period, and for over a thousand years monks trained here.

Mt. Nokogiri is the site of Nihonji, a Buddhist temple founded in 725 under orders from Emperor Shomu. Hundred-shaku Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy, is carved into the face of the mountain. She holds holds a spade in one hand. A shaku is 30.3 cm., or 11.93 inches, making the goddess 30.3 meters or nearly 100’ tall. Those with difficulty hiking on steep uneven terrain may want to avoid the hiking trail approach.

The mountain’s Nihonji Daibatsu (Great Buddha) holds a bowl with his left hand and his right hand palm upward, a common pose of a Medicine Buddha. Viewing the Medicine Buddha is said to be beneficial to health. At 31.05 meters (101.9’) it is one of the largest stone images of Buddha in Japan. It was completed in 1783 and restored in 1969. The mountain’s 1500 Rakan (disciples of Buddha) were created during the same period.

Rakan

It’s a popular spot for buying charms and amulets.

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