Inside of the Church of the Light in Osaka, Japan

Church of the Light | Osaka Travel Guide

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If you are interested in Japanese architecture like this church of the light, Tadao Ando might ring a bell for you. He is a world-famous architect who is self-educated and has a great passion and spirit toward his vocation. The Church of the Light is one of his masterpieces, which is located in Ibaraki city, Osaka prefecture.

Church of the Light

I first heard about this church when I visited the Tadao Ando museum on Naoshima island about 3 years ago. In the museum, a scale model of the church and some photos are displayed. They also show how precisely the measurements had to be calculated to take enough light inside. Light comes through a few small openings only, including the cross-shaped glass slit which is the piece de resistance of the building.

There are no typical decorations in the church like you would find in other churches. While expected, images of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, or other ornamental sculptures or paintings cannot be seen. In that respect, this church is a very exemplary building of the minimalist movement. There is only the cross-shaped ‘light’ in the exposed concrete structure, which is Ando’s signature style of architecture. Because of this ultimate simplicity, visitors can clear their own minds and focus on what is important.

If you are in Osaka and have an interest in contemporary Japanese architecture or minimalism, the Church of the Light should be on your to-see list!

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