Usuki is a city located in a bay along the eastern coast of Oita
It is located about 25 km southeast of Oita city.
Usuki had been a castle town since the 16th century.
Around the castle, many merchant residences were set up.
And samurai residences and Buddhist temples surrounded them.
In 1600, a Dutch ship was washed ashore on the coast of Usuki.
It was the first ship from the Netherlands to Japan, also an Englishman on the ship was the fitst man who came to Japan.
The Portuguese and Spanish missionaries who had been staying in Japan to mission said that the drifters were the pirates.
So they were send to Osaka to investigate.
But the fact was only the conflict between the Catholic and the Protestant, and rather, the government had selected the Dutch trade later.
At all, the episode was one of the important point in Japanese history.
Usuki Castle is located at the eastern part of the city, and is on a
It was built in 1562 by Yoshishige Ootomo (1530-1587, a Christian warlord).
The area was originally an island, and a castle tower and 31 other towers and buildings. But most of the buildings were domolished after the end of feudal Edo Government in 1868.
Now the ruin of castle with a few buildings and some stone walls became a park. There are about a thousand cherry trees and this park is known for the magnificent cherry trees in the southern part of Oita Prefecture.
Nioza is a district with old samurai residences and several small
It is located to the southwest of Usuki Castle.
The area is roughly circular, and the diameter is about 0.5 km.
They are along the narrow and labyrinthine stone-paved streets.
It is on the hilly area, so the streets are often sloping.
It is located about 6 km southwest of central Usuki city, and is the
highlight of visiting Usuki.
It is the Japan's greatest Stone Buddhas, and there are about 60 stone Buddha statues in four groups.
It is said that the statues were created from the 10th to the 14th centuries.
59 statues of them are designated as national treasures.
After the decline of mountain worship, this statues had abandoned. And
they had been exposed to wind and rain for a long time.
Additionally, the rocks made of tuff are weak.
So many of them had been damaged.
Then the total restoration was completed in 1994, and we can see the many Buddhas with soft looks.
By JR limited express "Sonic" or
"Nichirin", about 30 minutes from Oita to Usuki.
On foot, about 0.5 km to Usuki castle, about 1 km Nioza.
To Usuki Magaibutsu, about 17 minutes by route bus from Usuki station.