A famous attraction like Ushiku Daibutsu, the 120-metre tall bronze statue of Amida Buddha, is pretty well described by many tourists. Nonetheless each visit can be unique as was the case with me. Amongst the grey rainy days of late October, the day of my visit was miraculously warm and sunny with bright blue skies almost as if it were spring!
The statue of Amida Buddha stands alone in a spacious area outside the city and strikes you with its size right away. It seems to be out of this world. I noticed some blooming trees nearby and to my surprise found them to be sakura cherry blossoms. Another miracle! Some kinds of sakura bloom twice a year - in spring and in autumn and I got the chance to witness that. The sight of a bright blue sky, the grand figure of the Buddha and autumn sakura felt like a blessing.
Visiting the ’inner space’ of the statue felt as magical as being transported to another world. There is some ‘unreal’ space with light and music, then the hall with hundreds of golden copies of the statue creating the feeling of infinity… I was very much impressed by it all.
Back on earth though you can find some more human attractions - a beautiful garden, a small petting zoo where you can feed bunnies and a few other animals. Children enjoyed the monkey performance and took photos with it. For a small fee you can pick flowers from the field at the base of the statue, including autumn ‘cosmos’ flowers.
Of course, you can always lunch in the cafe and pick up some souvenirs in the shop at the entrance.
To get to Ushiku Daibutsu take the JR Joban line from Ueno Station to Ushiku Station, then take a 20-minute bus ride to Ushiku Daibutsu.
Find out more about Ushiku Daibutsu.