A castle town with the largest collection of stone Buddhas in Japan
Once a prosperous castle town in the 16th century, Usuki offers many traces of its prosperous history, as well as scenic and religious sites.
- The town's collection of stone Buddhas, believed to have been carved in the 12th century
- The peaceful Mangatsuji Temple, featuring guardians with unusual expressions
- Nioza Historic Street's white stone walls and stone pavement
How to Get There
You can reach Usuki by train.
It is a 38-minute ride from Oita Station to Usuki Station by a Limited Express train on the JR Nippo Main Line. Oita Station is served by the Kyudai, Hohi, and Nippo lines, offering access to much of Kyushu .
Explore the old town
About 400 years ago, Usuki played a key role in introducing a new age in Japanese diplomatic history, when it welcomed a Dutch ship that had drifted ashore.
Although the town's castle was destroyed long ago, parts of the wall remain.
These stone figures of Buddha are believed to have been carved out of the cliff face in the 12th century in hills about four kilometers from the town.
The are more than 60 of these figures—the largest group of their kind in Japan—and they were the first historic artifacts in Kyushu to be designated as a National Treasure.
Visit during the bamboo lantern festival, held annually in autumn, to see thousands of lamps lit up and hear the sound of koto harp music from the temples.