Ushiku Daibutsu 牛久大仏
Meet the Buddha that towers over Ibaraki
One of the three largest Buddha statues in the world, Ushiku Daibutsu is said to be big enough to hold Nara Prefecture's Todaiji Buddha statue in its hand. Visit and climb this statue to take in amazing views of the area and learn about the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism.
- Climb to the 85-meter observation floor for views of the surrounding landscape
- Learn about Buddhism in the lower floors of the statue
- Stroll through the nearby gardens and enjoy seasonal flowers
How to Get There
Although a little off the beaten path, getting to Ushiku Daibutsu is worth the effort. The nearest train station is Ushiku Station on the JR Joban Line, which runs from Nippori and Ueno Stations in Tokyo.
From Ushiku Station, take the bus from the east exit's Platform 2. Get off at the Ushiku-Daibutsu bus stop. The bus ride takes about 30 minutes.
In the palm of its hand
Ushiku Daibutsu was built in 1993 on a site associated with Shinran, the founder of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism. At 120 meters (the equivalent of a 38-story building) and weighing 4,000 tons, it's one of the largest Buddha statues in the world.
Enter the Daibutsu
While Ushiku Daibutsu is truly a sight to behold, a tour that takes you inside and high up this enormous statue is what sets it apart.
Your tour starts when you enter through the statue's back and find yourself in a pitch-black room, which opens up into to the sacred and solemn "World of Inifinite Light and Life" room. On the next floor there is an exhibition where you can learn how the Daibutsu was built, view a life-size model of the its thumb, and also a space for shakyo sutra copying. There is also a room where the walls are fixed with 3,400 small, golden statues of the Buddha on the third floor.
Scale the statue
An elevator takes you up to an observation floor 85 meters up where you can look out windows set at the statue's chest and see sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. Depending on the weather, you can see as far as Mt. Fuji and Tokyo Skytree.
All that nature has to offer
Outside, there's a garden full of flowers blooming throughout the year. Flowers including hydrangeas, peonies, cherry blossoms and moss phlox, poppies, and cosmos, and more bloom throughout the year. Depending on the season and the type of flower, you can pick some to take home. you're allowed to pick the flowers and keep them as a special souvenir. In early April, the combination of cherry blossoms and pink moss phlox creatues a beautiful scene. Young visitors will delight in the koi pond.
Watch the fireworks show
During the summer Obon festival, Japanese people pay homage to their ancestors. During this time, there's a special light show and fireworks display that lights up the statue. Many also visit Ushiku Daibutsu for their New Year's shrine visit.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.