The sekibutsu seemed to be hidden away in all manner of places, and it was a lot of fun winding through the woods to suddenly come upon a huge collection of statues or a fearsome Buddha carved in the rocks. My personal favorite was a giant carving of Amida Buddha, several meters high and staring out from across a valley at us. I was totally sure we could walk up and get a closer look, but as the grass was apparently full of snakes, good sense won out.
We also got to stop at Joruri Temple where a collection of nine Buddhist statues, made nearly a thousand years ago, are on display. Even now, there’s always something striking about seeing things that old. It’s always cool to see stuff that is about 4 times older than the United States, and were carved at a time when Robin Hood was supposedly prancing about Sherwood forest.