Ushiku Daibutsu New Year Events

3 day New Year celebration at Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki

Dec 31
Jan 3
Venue: Ushiku Daibutsu When: Dec 31st - Jan 3rd 2020 , 10:00pm - 4:00pm

Hatsumode is the practice of the first religious worship of the year. It is typically associated with a first visit to a shrine, but some people prefer to worship at a temple. The temple at the Ushiku big Buddha, known as a Daibutsu, is a popular New Year's pilgrimage for many. The temple offer many attractions for those who make the journey, from near and far, to pay homage at the big Buddha over New Years.

New Years Fireworks

The New Year's at Ushiku Daibutsu is for three days from the evening of December 31st until the afternoon of January 3rd. It starts with a count down event to the New Year and fireworks are launched at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks are a common way to ring in the New Year in many countries, but despite fireworks being very popular in Japan, they are not common at New Year at all. Ushiku Daibutsu is one of only a few places that ring in the New Year with a fireworks display on the stroke of midnight. The fireworks illuminate the stunning 120 meter tall Buddha - one of the three largest Buddha statues in the whole world.

Free entry

From January 1st to 3rd you can enter the statue for free. Inside there is a small lotus shaped museum, a gallery of golden Buddha statues and an observation deck at 85 meters. Entry is normally 500 yen for adults and 300 yen for children just to enter the gardens. Combined with entry to the giant Buddha too it costs 800 yen for adults and 500 yen for children. This is a rare opportunity to enter both for free.

Children's events

There is a small petting zoo at the back of the giant Buddha. They put on stage performances with animals a couple of times a day during the New Year period.

Getting there

By car

The Big Buddha is located close to the Ken-o expressway Ami Higashi Interchange, the same interchange for the Ami Premium Outlets. Making it very accessible from other parts of Ibaraki and from Chiba and Saitama too. It took us less than half an hour from Narita International airport to reach this location on New Year's day and about an hour from there to home in Saitama using the Ken-o expressway. From Tokyo you can use the Joban expressway to the Tsukuba junction and change over to the Ken-o from there.

By public transport

The nearest train stations are Ushiku and Hitachino-Ushiku, both on the Joban Line. The Buddha is quite far from both though so you would have take a taxi or a bus from the station to the Big Buddha.

More info

Find out more about Ushiku Daibutsu

Was this article helpful?

Suggest an edit

1
9
Lynda Hogan

Lynda Hogan @lynda.hogan

I've been in Japan for 18 years and yet everyday is still an adventure. For the last 11 years I have been living in and blogging about Saitama Prefecture (on my personal blog insaitama.com), occasionally appearing on TV to promote the attractions of my adopted home in rural Saitama.  Despite its central location, just North of Tokyo, Saitama is still quite unknown to the international tourist, but frequented by domestic travelers. It is a great place to experience some off-the-international-tourist-trail locations and meet with locals and national tourists. And of course Saitama is home to venues for both the Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I hope to introduce a taste of what there is to do and see in my articles on Japan Travel and help you with your Saitama travel planning.  

Terms | Privacy | Custom Tour Booking © Japan Airlines