Travel theme: Stone

Jizō is a Bodhisattva (Jp. Bosatsu), one who achieves enlightenment but postpones Buddhahood until all can be saved.

I believe that it’s not hard to find stone statues of Jizo when you visit Japan which they can come in various styles. I’ve been to Kanmangafuchi Abyss where about 70 stone of Jizo are located in a one row when I visited Nikko in March this year (2013).

I usually see standing statue of Jizo. This was the first time I saw the sitting statue of Jizo.

Kanmangafuchi Abyss | Nikko | Japan | 2013

Kanmangafuchi Abyss | Nikko | Japan | 2013

After spending time at the famous world heritage site in Nikko, my friend and I tried to find a way to Kanmangafuchi Abyss. Unfortunately, we’ve lost for 30 minutes until we found a kind Japanese staff at a museum along the way. He explained how to go there to us by using hands gesture, a piece of paper map and Japanese language (Luckily, my friend could moderately communicate in Japanese).

Finally, we found the entrance for what we were looking for. The road was occupied by melted ice causing slippery. We had to find another way to walk to our destination.


The statues of Jizo here are alternatively called “Bake Jizo” (Ghost Jizo), “Narabi Jizo” (Jizo in a line) or “Hyaku Jizo” (100 Jizo) (Reference).

Some say that the name of Ghost Jizo comes from the number of Jizo. No matter how many of them you count from the beginning of the path till the end, the number will never be the same when you count on the way back.

Kanmangafuchi Abyss | Nikko | Japan | 2013

Kanmangafuchi Abyss | Nikko | Japan | 2013

My friend tried to count them on the way back. When I asked her whether the number was the same or not. She told me that she wasn’t sure because she’s confused with counting on the way back. — Aha —

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