Late Dec
Early Jan

Ushiku Daibutsu New Year Events 2024-2025

3 day New Year celebration at Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

Venue: Ushiku Daibutsu When: Late Dec 2024 - Early Jan 2025

Hatsumode is the practice of the first religious worship of the year. It is typically associated with a first visit to a shrine, but some people prefer to worship at a temple. The temple at the Ushiku big Buddha, known as a Daibutsu, is a popular New Year's pilgrimage for many. The temple offer many attractions for those who make the journey, from near and far, to pay homage at the big Buddha over New Years.

New Years Fireworks

The New Year's at Ushiku Daibutsu is for three days from the evening of December 31st until the afternoon of January 3rd. It starts with a count down event to the New Year and fireworks are launched at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks are a common way to ring in the New Year in many countries, but despite fireworks being very popular in Japan, they are not common at New Year at all. Ushiku Daibutsu is one of only a few places that ring in the New Year with a fireworks display on the stroke of midnight. The fireworks illuminate the stunning 120 meter tall Buddha - one of the three largest Buddha statues in the whole world.

Free entry

From January 1st to 3rd you can enter the statue for free. Inside there is a small lotus shaped museum, a gallery of golden Buddha statues and an observation deck at 85 meters. Entry is normally 500 yen for adults and 300 yen for children just to enter the gardens. Combined with entry to the giant Buddha too it costs 800 yen for adults and 500 yen for children. This is a rare opportunity to enter both for free.

Children's events

There is a small petting zoo at the back of the giant Buddha. They put on stage performances with animals a couple of times a day during the New Year period.

Getting there

By car

The Big Buddha is located close to the Ken-o expressway Ami Higashi Interchange, the same interchange for the Ami Premium Outlets. Making it very accessible from other parts of Ibaraki and from Chiba and Saitama too. It took us less than half an hour from Narita International airport to reach this location on New Year's day and about an hour from there to home in Saitama using the Ken-o expressway. From Tokyo you can use the Joban expressway to the Tsukuba junction and change over to the Ken-o from there.

By public transport

The nearest train stations are Ushiku and Hitachino-Ushiku, both on the Joban Line. The Buddha is quite far from both though so you would have take a taxi or a bus from the station to the Big Buddha.

More info

Find out more about Ushiku Daibutsu.

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Sleiman Azizi 4 years ago
Just huge, huge, huge. If it starts walking, we're in trouble.
Sleiman Azizi 4 years ago
I remember seeing it for the first time and my mind just went, "woah..."
Sherilyn Siy 4 years ago
Huge savings to visit this place. A great time to visit for sure.
Lynda Hogan Author 4 years ago
Absolutely. And we didn't know in advance about the free entry, so it was a nice surprise!
Elena Lisina 4 years ago
That place is amazing and the figure of Daibutsu is SO impressive!
Lynda Hogan Author 4 years ago
It really is and the world's largest incense burner there is pretty impressive too.
Kim 4 years ago
That's awesome that it's free entry - and what a cool way to ring in the new year! :)
Lynda Hogan Author 4 years ago
I used to live in Ibaraki, but I didn't know about the New Year's eve fireworks until recent years - well after i'd moved away! Typical that!

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