When I first moved to Japan, this is one of the first sights I visited. The Showa Daibutsu, or Big Buddha, is an impressive 20 meter statue of the Buddha. Perched on a rounded hill, and clearly visible for miles around, the green patina shines over the city of Aomori.
The Japanese people view religion as a social norm, but do not necessariy subscribe to only one religion as most westerners do. Many claim to be both Shinto (a naturalistic reverence of kami or gods). There are plenty Buddhist temples and plenty Shinto shrines, sometimes standing right next to one another.
At the Seiryu Temple complex, where the Buddha statue sits observing the wide green and manicured gardens, the orderliness and quiet emphasizes the peaceful tranquility of the zen meditation held each morning. Pilgrims, tourists, weekenders, and school groups like mine frequent the grounds, but you almost never hear too much noise.
There is also a restaurant where the tea kettle hangs over the open fire to welcome you to sit and relax.