Jul
12
2015

One of the World’s Tallest Statues: Ushiku Daibutsu

Japan has a lot of impressive Buddha statues, probably a lot more than you’d think.
A lot of them claim to be the largest, tallest, heaviest etc. of their type, but Ushiku Daibutsu used to be the tallest statue in the WORLD until recently and is noted in the Guinness Book of Records!

cute star smilie Visited: October 29th 2014 cute star smilie

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

Access to Ushiku Daibutsu

Ushiku (牛久市) is a city in Ibaraki Prefecture (map). You can easily do this as a day trip from Tokyo.

Get off at JR Ushiku Station, head to the East Exit (東口) and from bus gate #2 take the bus heading to “Ushiku Daibutsu” (牛久大仏). The bus ride will take about 20-30 mins.

Explanation for the bus timetable: The very left is the station (牛久駅東口), the very right is the statue (牛久大仏) where you have to get off (for the second table next to it, it’s the other way round). The bottom two tables are for weekends and holidays. From the bus stop you can already see the statue. You won’t have to walk for more than a minute to reach the entrance.

 

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

Ushiku Daibutsu: One of the World’s Tallest Statues

The statue was completed in 1993 and is 120 m tall. With that it used to be the world’s tallest statue until 2002. Now the highest statue is the Spring Temple Buddha in China with 128 m.

The Statue of Liberty is “only” 40 m tall.

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

It’s the tallest statue in Japan. The statue itself only measures 100 m, but if you include the base (10 m) and lotus platform (10 m) it’s 120 m tall.

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

The second tallest statue in Japan is the Sendai Daikannon in Miyagi Prefecture (100 m).

Even the most famous Buddha Statue in Japan, the Kamakura Daibutsu, measures only about 13 m.

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

The statue is made of bronze and represents Amida Buddha which is considered to be “The Buddha of Immeasurable Life and Light”.

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

Visitors can enter the statue. An elevator lifts you up to 85 m and an observation platform. Apparently you can even see Mt. Fuji on a very clear day.

I doubt I even need to mention that – as always – I didn’t get to see the shy mountain.

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

Besides the observation platform you’ll find a lot of information about the statue and how it was built.

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to set up such a huge and heavy bronze statue.

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

They also proudly present the proof that the statue has made it into the Guinness Book of Records.

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

They show you how tall the statue is compared to other famous buildings like the Statue of Liberty or the Daibutsu in Nara.

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

You can also get a few very beautiful shrine and temple seal books and a nice seal from inside the statue. Don’t miss your chance!

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

Before you leave, you have the opportunity to see the statue from close up. There are these golden paper strips(?!) and lots of coins sticking to it.

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

Right next to the statue is a lovely Japanese garden.

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

It might be worth visiting in April as the cherry blossoms and “shibazakura” will turn it into a pink paradise.

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

Right behind the statue there’s a little petting zoo with lots of cute animals. There were a lot of rabbits, I thought I was on “Rabbit Island” again.

If you buy the “set ticket” entrance to the zoo is already included.

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

An adorable goat was chilling in the shadow. It didn’t look like it was keen on being touched, so I left it alone.

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

Pot-bellied pig?? Awww~

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

There were hundreds of adorable squirrels! You could feed them and they were jumping around and on you like crazy. It was a great opportunity to take photos of them from close-up.

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

On my way back I noticed that the statue’s image was reflecting as if saying goodbye to the visitors.

Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

 

If you like tall statues or Buddha statues, I highly recommend visiting. It really makes a nice day trip from Tokyo!

I went in late October and a few autumn colors were already out, but the best time to visit is probably April with all the cherry blossoms and “shibazakura” surrounding the statue.

 

T O U R I S T    I N F O R M A T I O N
Opening Hours: 9:30-17:00 (Mar – Sep, till 17:30 on weekends); 9:30-16:30 (Oct – Feb)
no entrance 30 mins before closing time
Holidays: none
Entrance fee: 800 yen (Apr – Nov for adults), 700 yen (Dec – Mar)
Time required: 40-60 mins (more if you also want to hang out with the animals)
TEL: (+81)029-889-2931
Website: http://daibutu.net/
Access: Take a train and get off at JR Ushiku Station. From the east exit take the bus from gate #2.

*Please Note: Prices as well as opening hours / holidays are subject to change. Please make sure to follow the provided link to the official website to check out the latest updates.

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