Overview of the New Year celebratory events held annually at the Ushiku Daibutsu (big buddha) in Ibaraki prefecture, close to Tokyo...
Ushiku Daibutsu is one of the three tallest bronze Buddha statues in the world. The 120-meter-high and 4,000-ton statue was erected in 1993 and is currently in Ushiku, Ibaraki. The Daibutsu held the record for the tallest statue in the world from 1993 to 2008 .
It was erected to commemorate the birth of Shinran, the founder of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism in Japan. From the 85-meter-high viewing platform you have a breathtaking view of the surroundings and can learn more about the Jodo Shinshu sect on the lower floors.
In the summer there is a special light and fireworks show that makes the statue shine brightly. At the New Year it also attracts many other visitors.
On the 5th floor of the Daibutsu statue is the 85-meter high observation deck. This floor is called the Room of Mount Gridhra-kuta, or Vulture Peak. Enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the surroundings, which allows you to see as far as Tokyo on a clear day.
On the 3rd floor is the World of Lotus Sanctuary, which represents the pure land of Amida. A stunning room filled with over 3,300 images of golden Buddhas, sutras (teachings of Buddha) are read here every morning and evening.
To reach the Ushiku Daibutsu, visitors walk through the Jodo garden. Jodo garden is a traditional Japanese garden with 12 kinds of flowers such as peonies and hydrangeas, as well as cherry blossom trees during springtime. Visitors can enjoy flower picking activities from May onwards.
20-30-minute bus ride from JR Ushiku Station (Joban Line). Take the Kanto Railway bus from East Exit No. 2 heading towards Ushiku Daibutsu / Ami Premium Outlet, and get off at the Ushiku Daibutsu stop.
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