Center Yourself in Oita Prefecture
Take a soothing stroll among unique, slightly mysterious stone Buddha statues
Surround yourself with history and reset your mind with a stroll through the peaceful mountains outside Usuki, where a trove of stone Buddha statues await. Believed to be about 1,000 years old, these statues have quite literally stood the test of time. However, since they were carved into relatively soft volcanic rock faces, erosion by rain and wind has damaged many of the statues, and great efforts have been made to restore and preserve them.
Statues large and small dot the landscape, invoking a sense of wonder and awe. But exactly who carved them, and for what purpose they were made has been lost to time, adding an air of mystery that only heightens the appeal of this mountain retreat. It's no wonder the Japanese government designated nearly all of the statues as official National Treasures.
A stroll through this remarkable and historic Buddhist enclave is a must part of a visit to Usuki, along with the city’s samurai dwellings and old-fashioned avenues. Leave the big-city stresses behind, feed your soul, and maybe find a little inner peace.
Access: From Tokyo Haneda Airport, fly to Oita Airport (about one hour 35 minutes);, take the Oita Kotsu bus to Oita Station (about 58 minutes), then; transfer to the Oita Bus for the Takeba stop (about one hour five minutes) and; walk about three minutes.
Usuki Stone Buddhas
804-1 Fukada, Usuki-shi, Oita-ken
|Approx. 1 hour or more