I visited the Ushiku Daibutsu during golden week. For once, I threw cautious to the wind and did not rush for the 1st transfer bus from Ushiku station.
For my reward, a queue that lasted almost an hour to get inside the statue.
To gain admission to the park, there was a queue to buy ticket. Then there is another queue to enter the giant statue
Spring weather is good and queuing is bearable. On the positive note, you stand at different angle to appreciate the beauty of this colossal statue. The artwork is handsome with a serene smile. Which is how it should be. It’s a good moment to catch up on chanting.
More queue inside the statue for the elevator to take you to the top. Then queue for elevator to take you down. So total queue time is about 2 hours. Avoid golden week!
Here is what’s in the statue. Top most floor, you get to see distant view from small windows. Not inspiring enough for me to take picture.
Once you enter the Buddha, you enter a room. The door shuts behind you and all lights go out! Complete darkness. There was some narration in Japanese that I do not understand.
I took the opportunity to contemplate emptiness and death. In complete darkness, you cannot see anyone or feel others. In that sense, you are separated from others. Alone….
Then the door in front open and you see many Amitabha emitting light with some light show. You see your companion getting out of darkness. All heading towards the illuminated Amitabha.
If you visit during the sakura time, this is what you get to see. I took a picture of the promotion poster!
Notice the big pond? Pureland practitioners like such pond because in the pureland scriptures. Lotuses filled the pond and one is reborn by emerging from the lotus when it opens.
In one of the floors, rows upon rows of Amitabha inside the giant statue.
A bit of zen moment if you participate in copying a religious stanza.
Some picture exhibits with information of the giant statue.
Here’s how they wash the statue. In summary, going into the statue is more for a religious perspective. If you are just there for Instagram, you may want to focus staying outside to take tons of pictures.
There’s an animal petting zoo for children to play with cute animals outside the statue.
Various flowers blooms throughout the year. Again outside the statue.
After the religious morning, I went over to Ami premium shopping outlet near the giant Buddha. There’s a bus from giant Buddha to the outlet.
It’s kinda surreal to see the giant Buddha while shopping. Lotsa people walking their dogs there.
There is a conveyor belt sushi restaurant at the premium outlet. Their food and green tea is great!
Tips. Many restaurant has a ticketing machine that issue a queue number. You input the number people with you. Remember to step inside and get a queue ticket from the machine. Then go out and wait for your turn. Best to ask the waiters inside when unsure.