[The Breath-taking Architecture of Tadao Ando] From the three churches to the Hill of the Buddha

[The Breath-taking Architecture of Tadao Ando] From the three churches to the Hill of the Buddha
Most people will probably think of Tadao Ando if asked to name a Japanese architect who is famous worldwide.
The beautiful, near-futuristic and unique designs of Tadao Ando architecture helps to set it apart from the rest and always provides the viewer with new discoveries and surprises. This article will concentrate on introducing the architecture created by Tadao Ando.

Until the Architecture is Born

adao Ando
Born in Osaka in 1941 during the Pacific War, the young Tadao Ando was initially interested in carpentry. He didn't fancy becoming a white-collar worker, so instead managed to get an architectural / interior design related job through connections.
He studied architecture by himself while doing this job, and in 1964 he traveled abroad to widen his horizons and see the architecture of the world.

Tadao Ando's architecture can be found across the globe, from Europe to the Americas and Asia. Allow this article to introduce 4 of his numerous pieces located within Japan.

1. Chapel on the Water|Hokkaido

Chapel on the Water

|This stylish church which is at one with nature feels almost like a scene from a movie!

The Chapel on the Water is one of the three churches designed by Tadao Ando.
This near-futuristic church is located on the vast grounds of the Hoshino Resorts Tomamu; almost right in the center of the island of Hokkaido. The mysterious atmosphere of this church almost makes it feel like it has been cut out of the idyllic nature surrounding it.
Chapel on the Water
Chapel on the Water
The visitor is greeted with the beautiful sounds of water, birds singing, and rain drops, alongside a pleasant breeze upon entry. It doesn't feel like a building at all. The exterior and interior of this church clearly depicts its theme - to "coexist with nature".
Chapel on the Water
It really is magical to see the illuminated crucifix reflected on the surface of the water when the light thrusts onto it during the afternoon.
It is also highly pleasant to witness the crisp morning air refreshingly breezing besides it.
【Address】Naka Tomamu, Shimukappu Village, Yufutsu Province, Hokkaido
【Tour Times】Morning / Afternoon / Evening (*Reservations not required). Please confirm with the website for precise dates and times.
【Closed】Please confirm via the website
・ Approx. 50-minutes from JR New Chitose Airport Station by Limited Express. A 5-minute journey via the free pick-up bus from Tomamu Station.
・2-hours 30-minutes from Sapporo by car.

2.Church of Lights|Osaka

Church of Lights

|Changing the concept of the crucifix: A beautiful church flooded with light

The following year; 1989, Tadao Ando completed another of his three churches – the Church of Lights. This church is located in a residential area of Osaka and was originally a protestant church and named "Ibaraki Kasugaoka Church".
The reason why it later became known as the "Church of Lights" is not due to any tangible object or crucifix, but rather how the light is expressed. The crucifix of this church has been physically cut out of a concrete wall. Light floods into the building from here.
This phenomenon changes depending on the time of day and the weather conditions outside. It is surprising to learn that the cost of building this church was as little as 35-million yen; not much difference from building an average residential home in the same area.

The light crucifix of this church is unique to the uncompromising design style of Tadao Ando. Don't miss out on the chance to experience the beauty of the light flooding through it for yourself.
【Address】 4-3-50, Kita Kasugaoka, Ibaraki City, Osaka
【Tour Times】 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
*Reservations via the supplied reservation form are required for tours. Please check with the website for more details.
【Closed】Please confirm via the website.
【Access】Approx. 15-minutes from Monorail Handai Byoin-mae Station.

3.Hill of the Buddha, Makomanai Takino Cemetery|Sapporo

Hill of the Buddha, Makomanai Takino Cemetery

|Never seen before! See the Buddha’s head unexpectedly peeking out from the top of the hill!

Tadao Ando produced this new tourist attraction and landmark of Hokkaido in 2016. While there are numerous breathtakingly large Buddha statues and Goddess of Mercy statues around the world; such as the Great Buddha in Nara, the Hill of the Buddha is something which is truly unique.

The design of this Buddha; the way it is comfortably enclosed in the hill with only its head visible, is extremely bold and unique.
Hill of the Buddha, Makomanai Takino Cemetery
What is more is that this hill is covered in blooming lavender in July. Being able to see the head of the Buddha surrounded by a purple carpet of lavender is highly photogenic! It really is a mysterious and unusual piece of architecture located in the type of vast landscape common to Hokkaido.
Hill of the Buddha, Makomanai Takino Cemetery
Hill of the Buddha, Makomanai Takino Cemetery
Even Tadao Ando himself stated; "It is the first time I have seen such a vast landscape. I have created an unprecedented new world that can only be experienced in Hokkaido itself." Don't miss out on visiting the Hill of the Buddha during the lavender season!
【Address】2, Takino, Minami-ku Sapporo City
【Tour Times】
April – October, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. .
November – March, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.
【Closed】Beginning and end of the year and during times of maintenance.
【Access】Approx. 20-minutes from Makomanai Subway Station by taxi.

4.The 100 Stepped Garden| Awaji Island, Hyogo Prefecture

The 100 Stepped Garden

|Enjoy the architecture and natural beauty of the Flower Island season by season!

Awaji Island boasts a warm climate throughout the year. It is often referred to as the "Flower Island" due to the fact that a wide variety of flowers bloom here throughout the year.With this in mind, Tadao Ando integrated his architecture to create his resort facility; "Awaji Yumebutai".

This facility faces the sea and the scenery looks amazing regardless of where you look. The most highly recommended photogenic location has to be the 100 flower beds located on connecting steps along the side of the mountain.
The 100 Stepped Garden
The 100 stepped garden consists of 100 concrete flower beds filled with colorful flowers in a systematic way. This fusion of modern architecture and nature makes it appear almost like a futuristic city.
The 100 Stepped Garden
The facility is also equipped with benches and trash cans, etc. Feel free to make a day of it and enjoy your lunch while admiring the flowers.
【Address】 2, Yumebutai, Awaji City, Hyogo Prefecture
【Fee】 Free (except for one section)
【Access】Approx. 15-minutes from JR Maiko Station by Honshu Strait Bus. Located right next to "Awaji Yumebutai-mae" bus stop.
This article introduced 4 different beautiful architectural landscapes by Tadao Ando.
There are lots of examples of architecture by Tadao Ando across Japan. Why not travel abroad and experience for yourself some of his unique and beautiful pieces around the world?

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