The Ushiku Daibutsu (“Great Buddha of Ushiku”) in Ushiku City, Ibaraki Prefecture. Stands 120 meters tall and is one of the world’s highest Buddha sculptures. In comparison, Nara’s Daibutsu at Todaiji Temple is barely 15 meters tall. And fits in the palm of the Ushiku Daibutsu. The height of the bronze statue represents the twelve types of light that emanate from the Buddha. And reach all people across the globe who repeat his name. As advocated by the True Pure Land sect of Japanese Buddhism.
The Ushiku Daibutsu is surrounded by a spacious park. where over 100 cherry trees blossom from early to mid-April. Pink moss (April), poppies (May), and cosmos are among the other blooms in the park (September and October).
The two-story Hakkenmon Gate holds three pictures of the Buddha on the second level. A pond represents the source of life. Japan’s biggest bronze incense burner and a miniature Pure Land garden picturing Buddhist paradise greet tourists approaching the Ushiku Daibutsu.
Inside, there are five floors, and an elevator links the three lower floors to the two upper floors. The tour begins on the first floor. A conceptual light show representing the light that Buddha emits may be seen. A couple of the Buddha’s relics are kept here, and slender glass windows allow views of the four cardinal points.
Inside the Buddha, visitors can engage in different types of meditation and prayer. On the second level, there are 77 tables reserved for shakyo, a kind of meditation that involves hand-copying Buddhist scriptures.
It is stated that your wishes would come true by carefully writing each character.
Shakyo beginners may also participate in the ritual with a beginner’s set. So take advantage of this precious time of inner serenity by focusing all of your senses on your brush. In fact, the entire Buddha statue is designed to resemble a vast temple. Complete with a preaching chamber, lightroom, and a display of countless Buddha figurines.
On your way out, don’t forget to visit the veranda. You’ll find a 4,000-ton buddha standing upon a blooming lotus flower. The view of the Jodo Teien garden is magnificent. Various flowers and plants in bloom depending on the season. In springtime, cherry blossoms completely elevate the experience.
The World of Lotus Sanctuary on the third floor is the main worship hall of the temple. With around 3,400 golden Buddha statues enshrined on the walls. The reciting of the sutras echoes in the golden hall every morning and evening, creating a splendid yet solemn atmosphere.
sources: Ushiku Daibutsu (Buddha) ; Ushiku Daibutsu (Buddha) ; 牛久大仏 ; Ushiku Daibutsu Buddha Statue; Ushiku Daibutsu Guide