Scrapbook of a Future Nobleman

The Water Temple

Water Temple, Hompuki, Japan

Back on the main island, but still very close to Awaji Island, is another one of Tadao Ando’s buildings, the Water Temple in Hompuki. It is one of his most famous works, and probably one of his best. Set in the side of a hill overlooking the ocean, the small temple is meant to be a place for families to hold ceremonies and pray for relatives buried in the graveyard nearby. Up front is a more traditional temple, but as you work your way up and behind it, you encounter a gravel yard and a concrete path which takes you up, around, and through concrete planes. This is the same sort of path you would take at any traditional Japanese temple – everyone knows evil spirits can only travel in straight lines! As you reach the top, you find a large pool of water, which during spring would be filled with lotus blossoms. The temple’s entrances is a stairwell set in the middle of this pond. You descend through the pool and into the dark of a concrete drum set underground. You work your way around and eventually reach the hondo – a small room with a statue of buddha lit from behind by daylight seeping through a small bamboo grove and a light well. The temple is small but beautiful, and blends the traditional ken system of Japanese architecture with a modern interpretation.

Enjoy more photos below the fold…

Water Temple, Hompuki, Japan

Water Temple, Hompuki, Japan

Water Temple, Hompuki, Japan

Water Temple, Hompuki, Japan

Water Temple, Hompuki, Japan

Water Temple, Hompuki, Japan

Water Temple, Hompuki, Japan

Water Temple, Hompuki, Japan

Water Temple, Hompuki, Japan

Water Temple, Hompuki, Japan

Water Temple, Hompuki, Japan

Water Temple, Hompuki, Japan