A visit to Nihon-ji Daibutsu of Nokogiri Yama



It was summer time in Tokyo. I woke up to my alarm clock at four O’clock in the morning and prepared for a short vacation to Nihon-ji Daibutsu with friends. We arranged to meet outside Shibuya station’s Hachiko statue with friends at five thirty in the morning. By the way Hachiko is a statue of famous dog – and represents the values of Japanese loyalty and devotion. It is one of a landmark not to be missed if you visit Tokyo, especially for dog lovers who had seen the Hachiko movie. I rushed to the nearest station as soon as I done with my preparation. To my surprise, I was the last person they were waiting for. And so was my vacation to Nihon-ji Daibutsu was started.

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View of Nokogiri Yama

Since I first heard about the Nihon-ji Daibutsu of Nokogiri Yama from a friend, I always want to visit and see the place because it was said the road to Nokogiri Yama is very similar to the road to Kyaiktiyo pagoda in Burma. As a Burmese, a journey to Kyaitiyo pagoda is unforgettable life time experience, especially for pilgrims and younger generation. Unfortunately, I never got a chance to visit the pagoda and probably, that could be the main cause that make my strong desire to visit Nokogiri Yama.

First, we took Yamanote train to Shinagawa station, and transit Keikyu Kurihama line to Kurihama Station. It took almost two hours from Shinagawa station. Kurihama久里浜is located on southern part of Tokyo and a beautiful city face to Pacific Ocean. It is an area in the city of Yokosuka in Kanagawa Prefecture. Matthew C. Perry landed for his first negotiations for the opening of Japan in this small city on July 14, 1853. A large monument was erected in 1901 to commemorate the event, and a small museum was opened in 1987, according to Wikipedia online encyclopedia.

From Kurihama station Chiba Peninsula can be seen across the sea. We took a ferry boat to Hamakanaya that was across the sea. When we got there, we asked local people how to get to the Nihon-ji Daibutsu. Nihon-ji 日本寺 is the name of the temple, and Dibutsu大仏means statue of Buddha in Japanese The temple is located on the slopes of Mount Nokogiri and is known for its Nihon-ji Daibutsu. It was carved onto the side of mount Nokogiri, and101 feet tall. Carving of the Nihon-ji Daibutsu was completed in 1783. Damaged over the years by earthquakes and the elements, the stone figure was restored in 1969.

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View from top of the Nokogira yama

We walked to a sky rail station as directed by local people and rode up to top of a mountain. I was thrilled, as it was my first ever sky rail experiance experience in my life. From the top of the mountain, we watched breath taking view of the surrounding area. We saw beautiful cities, people on beach, sea and boats far away. The scenery was so beautiful. After enjoying the beautiful scenery for a while, we started walking into forest.

After walking about fifteen minutes we saw a shelter, and took a rest. The shelter has roof but no walls. On its wooden posts were covered with writings by people who ever had been here. To my surprise I saw a Burmese writing on one of its post. It was written a date with four Burmese names. We saw many small statues along the way. After walking like half an hour, we caught sight of a

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Typical Japanese chashu ramen by dentist chef 2014

huge Daibutsu, statue of Buddha in a jungle. It was sculpted as a sitting Buddha on huge stones, one of a largest of that kind in Asia. I am not a Buddhist, but honestly, I feel peace of mind and happiness when I saw the statue. There was not much else to see in the area, but there were some smaller statues and a shop selling omamori.

We started going back to home after a while. As soon as we took off from the sky rail, we first looked for a Japanese ramen noodle shop as we all got hungry. It was about four O’clock in the evening, when we filled our stomach. We rushed to the Kurihama station and took back a train to Shinagawa. Unlike in the morning, we were completely exhausted, and fall asleep on train. When I woke up I saw I was in Shinagawa station. We went to a restaurant, and after having dinner we said good bye to each other. It was one of unforgettable day in my life.



By Thawngno – in remembrance of friends in Japan.