For some reason when I tell my Japanese friends I went to Ibaraki, they laugh… OK it may not be the biggest place in Japan, but it does have one of the world’s tallest statues! More importantly, my friend Oni lives there Naomi also came with me, and I met both of them in London!
The Ushiku Daibutsu is 120m tall and was declared the world’s tallest statue by the Guinness Book of Records after it was completed in 1993 (almost 3 times the height of the Statue of Liberty!!!). It really is enormous. You can spot the head over the trees on the drive up. One toe is the height of me! Once there, you can get a lift up to the chest and eye level platforms, but the eye level was closed today. It gives a good view over the entire area and surrounding gardens.
There is a hall full of spaces for sponsored (much smaller) gold Daibutsu statues. The bought ones are on their shelf with the buyer’s name inscribed. I don’t know how much it costs to buy one, but its a lot!
Later we drove up a mountain to eat lunch. I’m guessing this is a drifting hot spot because it is perfect for it! But unfortunately it was way too early for any of that business. There is also a kind of old run down play area up there.. and a Zebra riding a toad. Of course.