Here's the map :
The purpose of this trip is to cross Tokyo Bay from the western side of Kanagawa-ken to the eastern wilderness of Boso peninsula and discover Nihonji Temple, the thousands statues scattered into the mountain and its Daibutsu, the biggest Buddha statue in Japan.
First you need to take the train until Kurihama. You can reach this small fish harbor using the Yokosuka line. Kurihama is a small town, famous because it was the place where Commodore Perry landed in Japan for the first time. There is a small park that may be worth a look if you're into history, especially the museum.
You then need to reach the pier of the Tokyowan Ferry Terminal
. The crossing is a mere 600 yen
s one way and 1100 yens
return. Of course you can load your car on the boat but then the price gets more expensive. It takes about 40 minutes
to cross Tokyo Bay.
Enjoy the crossing :
Arriving in Kanaya, the main tourist attraction is located in the mountains just behind the small village.
You can take a cable car to the summit (600 yens one way, 1100 return), or hike uphill. I didn't try the hike up because it was already almost 4 pm, and it should take a little while, maybe 2 hours.
Views from the top are fantastic. On clear day you can see Mt Fuji on the other side at sunset.
This place is a geological wonder : huge pieces of rocks having been ripped years ago. You may feel a little dizzy so it's good to make sure you're walking on safe path.
The whole moutain is actually a sacred place, covered with thousands of small Buddhist statues. These are actually Rakan, disciples having reached nirvana and consequently free of the cycle of reincarnation.
If you continue on the path going downhill through the moutain, you'll inevitably end up in front of this huge Buddha Statue.
At more than 30 meters high, this is actually the biggest Buddha statue of Japan. Yes you've heard it, great Buddhas of Nara or Kamakura are only 15-20 meters high. This Bhaisajyaguru, also known as the Master of Healing or Medicine Buddha is not recognized into the same category, maybe because it's not an "entire" statue, it's "just" carved in the rocks.
Exiting the temple, it's a nice way down to Hota, where you can feel a rather deep countryside aspect of rural Japan. You're only 80 km south of Chiba, but everything is totally different from the concrete jungle of Tokyo.
You can take a train back from Hota to Kanaya and the ferry terminal. There's also a bus back to the ferry terminal but then when exiting the temple you need to reach the road and thus not following the path to Hota.
Of course you can also take the train up to Chiba and then Tokyo, or explore the southern tip and eastern side of Boso peninsula.
More pictures on my blog :