Kanmangafuchi Abyss, situated near the city of Nikko, offers beautiful views of intricate lava formations, which were shaped around 7000 years ago when the lava flows from an eruption of the nearby Mount Nantai combined with the water of the Daiyagawa River.
In the wooded area of the abyss stands a row of stone Jizō statues. This particular group of Jizō statues is called ‘Narabi Jizō‘ [Jizō in a line]. It contains around 70 stone statues lined up in front of a wall stretching around 100 meters and overlooking the Daiyagawa River. The statues here are also known as ‘Bake Jizō’ [Ghost Jizō] because apparently each time you count them you end up with a different number.
Jizō is one of Japan’s most beloved deities and is regarded as the Bodhisattva who cares for travelers and lost souls and is the guardian of children. Jizō statues are decorated with red cloth bibs and crocheted caps. According to Japanese folk belief, red is the color for expelling demons and illness. Some of the statues have lost their heads, however, those heads sit next to their Jizō bodies. Nevertheless, the seemingly endless row of statues make for a captivating sight.