Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Nihon-ji Big Buddha

Big Buddha
A visit to the largest stone-carved daibutsu, to one of the oldest temples in Japan, and a mountain hike, all included in a visit to the nihon-ji temple big Buddha at the Nokogiri Mountain, Chiba prefecture.

The Nihon-ji daibutsu with 31 m is the largest stone carved daibutsu and one of the largest Buddha statues in Japan (Kamakura Budda is 13.75 m for comparison). The statue represents the kusurishi nyorai or Buddha of healing, holding a medicine jar with the left hand.

The daibutsu completed in 1783, originally was 37.7 m tall, losing almost 7 m to erosion, it had a major restoration in 1966, and now part of the admission fee is used for restoration and maintenance.

Nihon-ji bell
daikoku hall
Yakushi shrine
Kenkon inari
Cave Heaven
The temple is located in the Nokogiri Mountain, divided in five areas that can be accessed by climbing the temple well maintained trails, or by using the cable car in the Hamakayama station to the top of the mountain and make your way down.
The first area is the temple access area or Omotesando where the Kanon temple is located. A short path climbs to to the middle area where most of the temples are located: The Nihon-ji bell (designated an important cultural property), the Daikoku hall, the Yakushi shrine, the Kenkon inari and the path to heaven cave.

Big-Buddha square
The next area is the Big Buddha square where the big-Buddha can be appreciated; there is also a Jizo statue at the square, surrounded by small statues.

Tokai Arhats
Tokai Arhats
Tokai Arhats
Tokai Arhats
The next area, the Rakan area, is a serie of caves and inlets, housing 1500 arhats statues; steep paths separate the caves some of them covered with moss, so good shoes are required for this area.
The last area or top of the mountain area, which I didn’t have enought time to visit, host a 100 feet Kanon carved on the mountain, and an observatory called a Jigoku nozoki (peep into hell), where the Boso peninsula and the bottom of the mountain, thus the name, can be appreciated.



JJLuke77 said...

This post is very nice! I had a problem clickin on the photographs: flickr returned an error.

island4jp said...

Thanks JJLuke77. I think I fixed the error.

AdelaideBen said...

Great work... loved it. Must have been fun to walk around there. Nice photos and good info... waiting for more now!

I thought the mini-mini Jizo were very cute... but a little disturbing right next to the mountain of discarded statues. Very strange.

island4jp said...

Thanks AdelaideBen,
I think the mountain of small Jizos are not discarded. Jizo are guardians of childred who died before their parents; families buy the small Jizo and collocate them next to the Jizo statue, then temple's priest move them to the pile every month (I think), to make space for new ones. they can do it more neatly as in Kamakura, but then the prayer Jizos there are 5,000 and 10,000 JPY, as oppose as 500 JPY here. It's heartbreaking to think that every one of the small Jizos represents a family praying for protection for their missing child.

Anonymous said...

That is such an amazing place! I would love to visit there.

island4jp said...

It is indeed, next time I would like to use the cable car and make my way down.

jenny ocampo said...

Thaks so much fot infomation😘