The third tallest statue in the world can be found in Ibaraki Prefecture of Japan in the form of a “daibutsu” or a giant Buddha. This statue is called Ushiko Daibutsu which stands a total of 120 meters tall or 394 feet (inclusive of base and lotus platform) and is made of bronze. It is also known by its Sanskrit name, Amitabha, which is a celestial Buddha of Mahayana Buddhism.
Amitaba is the principal Buddha in Pure Land Buddhism and is also known as “The Buddha of Immeasurable Life and Light.” It is known to possess infinite merits which resulted from good deeds of past lives. In Vajrayana Buddhism, he is known for pure perception and awareness of a phenomenon. Some doctrines show that Amitaba was possibly a monk in another system of worlds. He was known as “Dharmakara” who used to be a king. Upon coming into contact with Buddhist teachings, he renounced his throne. He resolved to become a Buddha by expressing his forty-eight vows which were full of conditions on how beings should be born into the world.
Ushiko Daibutsu used to be the tallest in the world until the effigy of Vairocana was completed in Lushan, China. Another statue in Myanmar moved its rank to the third place as it was 6 meters taller than the daibutsu.
It was built in 1993 to commemorate the birth of the founder of Jodo Shinsho Sect. It has an observation room where visitors can ride an elevator at 85 meters height. It is a perfect spot for viewers to watch the whole city which can even reach the Tokyo Sky Tree on clear days.
The statue is also known under the name of Ushiku ARCADIA (Amida’s Radiance and Compassion Actually Developing and Illuminating Area).
Visiting the Buddha will also give you the chance to have a tour within the statue’s different floors and rooms. You’ll be able to see a lot of exhibits dedicated to the historical Buddha including the lovely garden surrounding it. A better time to visit is on August 15 of every year as fireworks display and light shows are held in the area.
Ushiku Kankou Website*Japanese Only