A castle town with an intriguing stone-paved road. The largest-scale rock Buddha figures in Japan, designated as a National Treasure.
Usuki in a southeastern part of Oita was prosperous under the rule of the Feudal Lord Sorin Otomo in the 16th century who built the Usuki Castle there. Many remains of those day are present in this city. Nioza, located to the southwest of the Usuki Castle, is a chic street lined with white walls and stone walls. A stone pavement called "Nioza Historical Street" is provided on this street. Approximately 400 years ago, the Dutch ship Liefde drifted ashore at Sashiu in a northern part of Usuki, opening up a new age in the Japanese diplomatic history.
A group of Buddha figure carvings out of the natural rock wall of a cliff, known as "Usuki Sekibutsu", was the first of its kind designated as a National Treasure. A Buddha figure carving out of a cliff is called "Magai-butsu". Usuki Sekibutsu is located in hills 4 km away from the downtown area. With more than 60 figures, it is of the largest scale in Japan in the Magai-butsu category and is believed to had been carved during the 12th century and the14th century, that is, in the latter half of the Heian Period(797-1192) or the Kamakura Period(1192-1333). A bamboo lantern festival is held in autumn every year. Twenty thousand Japanese table lamps in a bamboo shade are lit, and the faint tone of koto(Japanese zithers) is heard from temples in the suburbs. Tourists visiting Usuki in this season will have a fantastic feeling.
From Tokyo :
[Air] An hour and 40 minutes from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Oita Airport. An hour from Osaka Itami Airport. Fifty-five minutes by bus from Oita Airport to Oita Station. Thirty-eight minutes from Oita Station to Usuki Station by a Limited Express on the JR Main Nippo Line.