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Usuki Stone Buddhas

Usuki Stone Buddhas

The Usuki Stone Buddhas are designated national treasures of Japan dating back a thousand years ago. Travelers can stroll along the paved trail with intricate works of art following your every step. The Stone Buddhas are divided into 4 main cluster groups with different shapes and deities. Preservation towards these national treasures is crucial, due to high moisture levels of the area, which causes erosion that slowly destroys the statues. Even though stone Buddhist statues are considered rare in Japan, the ones at Usuki are the only ones designated as national treasures of Japan. Today, shelters are built to protect these treasures from the elements of nature. Every year the special Buddha fire festival is celebrated at this location with 800 years of history behind this traditional event. Over a thousand flame torches are lit illuminating the divine statues which present a mystic atmosphere heavily regarded as one of the largest fire festivals of Japan. On December 31st, a special events consisting of drum ceremonies, mild dancing and over 600 torches take place in front of the Stone Buddha to bring good luck towards the New Year.