On Saturday, it was by bike around the Yamanote Line in a day. On Monday (Seikin-no-hi – Coming of Age Day – public holiday), it was leaving the bike behind, and travelling around Tokyo Bay in a Day. (I’m not sure how far it is around, but maybe Bicycle Victoria ought to look into expanding its Around the Bay in a Day ride to new cities with the right topography?)
By train to Kurihama, bus to Kurihama Port, a 40 minute Tokyo Bay Ferry ride to Kanaya (Chiba Prefecture), up and down Nokogiri-yama by cable car, then back home by train via Chiba equals a long but successful circumnavigation of Tokyo-wan.
Top Gear fans will recognise the Hyaku-shaku Kannon as the finish point of the GT-R versus bullet train racebroadcast recently. Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond had long left Nokogiri-yama by the time I was there, but have a look at the photos and compare the places. (I still somehow like the idea of cycling around Tokyo Bay rather than driving…)
Here’s me and the Hyaku-shaku Kannon (a “shaku” is a measurement of around a foot long, so it’s the 100-shaku Kannon).
Just below Nokogiri-yama is Japan’s largest Buddha. This fact disappointed me somewhat – because being loyal to my student days in Nara, I’d always believed that the Daibutsu at Todaiji in Nara was Japan’s largest. According to the brochure, this impostor is 31.05 metres high compared to the Nara Daibutsu at a mere 18.18 metres. And the teeny one at Kamakura is only 13.35 metres.
This Daibutsu was completed in 1783, only rougly a millennium after the Nara Daibutsu was completed in 752. I know where my loyalties lie!