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Home » NIPPON WONDERS » Hidden Gems » Ushiku Daibutsu: a gigantic encounter with Buddha in Japan!

Ushiku Daibutsu: a gigantic encounter with Buddha in Japan!

Greetings, dear readers. Today, we have an exciting post to share with you about one of Japan’s hidden treasures: the Ushiku Daibutsu, an awe-inspiring statue of Buddha that stands as the tallest in the Land of the Rising Sun. Are you curious to delve into the details of this remarkable work of art? If so, read on.


Origins of the Ushiku Daibutsu

The Ushiku Daibutsu (牛久大仏) finds its home in the city of Ushiku, nestled within Ibaraki Prefecture, a mere 90-minute journey from Tokyo. This monumental statue portrays Amitābha, the Buddha of Infinite Light, and was erected in 1993 as a tribute to the birth of Shinran, the progenitor of the Jōdo Shinshū school of Buddhism. This school centers around faith in and dedication to this very Buddha.

Standing at a towering height of 120 meters, which includes both the 10-meter base and the 10-meter lotus platform, this statue dwarfs even the Statue of Liberty. Indeed, it reigned as the world’s tallest statue from 1993 to 2008, now holding the esteemed rank of the fifth tallest globally.

The structure, forged from steel and cloaked in bronze, captivates with its meticulous detailing. Each eye spans an impressive 2.5 meters, while the ears reach 10 meters in length. The hands, each measuring 18 meters, convey a symbolic gesture of acceptance toward all humankind. Notably, every finger extends to a length of 7 meters.

The Genesis of the Ushiku Daibutsu

Crafting the Ushiku Daibutsu proved a grand endeavor, uniting numerous artisans and laborers. Its colossal presence graces around 12.5 hectares of land, encompassing enchanting gardens and serene meditation spaces.

The construction process unfolded with utmost care and precision. The statue was divided into distinct segments, which were subsequently assembled on-site. The hands and head were meticulously sculpted in a separate location before being transported to Ushiku for final assembly. This methodical approach ensured the achievement of the statue’s commanding stature of 120 meters.

A park envelops the Ushiku Daibutsu, offering a haven of flower-laden gardens that flourish in every season. Within, a small zoo housing domestic animals, and a lake inhabited by graceful swans, bestow an added charm. Throughout the year, a series of festivals and firework displays grace the locale with their celebratory spirit.

Gazing upon the world from the Ushiku Daibutsu

Perhaps the most astonishing aspect is the possibility to enter the statue itself, revealing a four-story edifice functioning as a museum. An elevator transports visitors to a vantage point within the Buddha’s chest, soaring 85 meters high. From here, an observation platform unveils the breathtaking panorama. Rooms dedicated to the study of Buddhist scriptures, an exhibition showcasing countless golden Buddha statuettes, and a recreation of Mount Grdhrakuta, where Amitābha imparted his teachings, enrich the experience.


For those intrigued by this wonder, a visit can be made from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm daily. The entrance fee stands at 800 yen for adults and 400 yen for children.

How to get there

If you find yourself in Tokyo, the swiftest and most convenient route involves taking a train from Ueno Station to JR Ushiku Station. Following that, a bus ride to Ushiku Daibutsu Iriguchi (牛久大仏入口) will deposit you a mere 15-minute stroll away from the statue.

Alternatively, you can opt for a drive along the Ken-O Expressway or National Route 408.

We hope that if you ever venture to Japan, you’ll seize the opportunity to behold this marvel. A truly unique encounter awaits, one that will undoubtedly leave you breathless. 😳

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