Saw Mountain

So, Friday was just me and the camera. I headed to place really pretty close to where I was staying. Every time I drive down here I see it from the motorway, and every time I make a mental note to get my arse over there, and every time I manage to not make it. But not Friday; Friday I went to Saw Mountain (Nokogiriyama).

On the north side (the side I see when I'm driving down the motorway), is the famous sawtooth-tipped sheer cliff face, the various viewing promontories strewn along it's edge, the most precarious of which is graphically, beautifully, named 'Looking Down into Hell Viewing Point' (seriously). It's why people come here. These well-quarried cliffs of pyroclastic pumice tuff are an extraordinary sight to look at, and to look from.

But there's more to this mountain than a cable-car and a spectacular view. In contrast to the sheer face on the north, the south side of the mountain rolls gently away in a series of flats and drops, and is host to the impressive Kenkon-zan Nihon-ji Buddhist temple (Nihon Dera). Dating from AD725, it's the oldest such temple in the Kanto region. There is plenty to see; the 33-metre Goddess of Mercy carved into the the rock face at Hyakushaku Kannon, the 1500 stone figures of Tokai Arhats lining the garden's walkways, and the incredible carved stone Daibutsu, at over 31 metres tall the largest in all Japan. All set in beautifully designed sloping parkland, bursting with diverting fauna (hydrangea took pride of place on my visit, but there were lots of others as you can see below).

Definitely worth a visit. I know I'll stop by again... and soon.

Mountain lily

Wandering Jew

Severn angels

Lily of the Nile

Common Bluebottle


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