A spectacular church that combines sanctity with the wonders of nature (Yufutsu, Hokkaido)
Surrounded by the majesty of nature, the Chapel on the Water in Tomamu, Hokkaido is one of a “trilogy” of churches designed by Tadao Ando. Made from concrete, glass and wood, the space inside the church opens out onto water surface reflecting blue skies, with a large cross seemingly floating in the middle. The church is open to the public.
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu Chapel on the Water
Address: Naka-Tomamu,Shimukappu, Yufutsu, Hokkaido
Getting there: Free bus from JR Tomamu Station
Hidden depths – The Buddhist space where the ordinary meets the extraordinary (Sapporo, Hokkaido)
As part of improvements to this cemetery, Ando took an existing great Buddha statue and surrounded it with a lavender-covered hill, so that just the head is visible. Based on the concept of showcasing hidden depths, the space creates a boundary between the ordinary and the extraordinary, providing a genuinely moving experience when you come face to face with the great Buddha. The lavender is best viewed in July.
Takino Cemetery Hill of the Buddha
Address: 2 Takino, Minami-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Getting there: From Makomanai subway station, take Sapporo Chuo Bus 102 to Takino Reien. The cemetery is directly in front of the bus stop.
A Buddhist temple based on the concept of entering Nirvana (Awaji, Hyogo prefecture)
Awaji Island in Hyogo prefecture is home to the Water Temple at Honpukuji Temple. Considered a classic example of Buddhist architecture, the building itself is a large cylinder, topped with lotus plants growing in a pool. The main entrance leads through a vermillion lacquered gallery to the main hall. The temple is particularly beautiful when the water lilies (May-September) or sacred lotus (June-July) are in bloom.
Honpukuji Water Temple
Address: 1310 Ura, Awaji, Hyogo prefecture
Getting there: Approximately 10 minutes on foot from Tateishikawa bus stop on the Awaji Kotsu Express Line
Other renowned work
Buildings designed by Tadao Ando are scattered throughout Japan, and many are accessible to the public. Next time you visit Japan why not try adding one to your itinerary?