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Doga-TV > Entertainment > Karuizawa Stone Church

Karuizawa Stone Church

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Published on 06.01.2016 The most fascinating attractions in Karuizawa town, aside for being a popular resort town in Japan, is the Stone Church. Located in the east of Nagano, it is just a little over an hour away from Tokyo by train. The Stone Church is one of the most unique churches in Karuizawa. It is another all-time favorite wedding venue of the Japanese people where east meets west.

The Stone Church in Karuizawa is created around the 5 elements of stone, wood, sunlight, green, and water to bring the church into harmony with nature. At first glance, the exterior of this Stone Church looks like an entrance of an underground tunnel. There aren't any holy cross on top of the church to identify it as a church. It is an excellent work of architecture where the artistic stone structure blends flawlessly into the surrounding woody forest. Its appearance looks like a scene from a fairy tale that invites visitors to take a closer look.

The simplicity and the charm of the church actually came from the principle of a Japanese philosopher, Japanese author, and Christian evangelist named Uchimura Kanzo. He is the one who introduced the Japanese Christian movement called “Non Church Movement“ in Japan. The building is designed by an American architect named Kendrick Kellogg. He integrates its surroundings naturally and carefully designed the building to make sure it would not change the surroundings like the air flows naturally, water streams, and the slope of the entire land. The church is only 20+ years old but it looks like it has been here for hundred years.

The church's interior design is equally imaginative and charming that is why this church is a popular venue for weddings. Inside the church, you will see a little museum showcasing the history of the church. Pictures of the Uchimura Kanzo and Kendrick Kellog are also there. The building looked futuristic but also very primitive. There are long chairs and a stone altar in front. The outside view, the church's arches, are angled in a variety of ways so that at any time of the day the light comes through the alternating glass panels will light up a different aspect of the interior. The stonework is aesthetically breathtaking, as is the use of greenery in the chapel.

Kellogg's concept for the church was that the repetition of stone and glass arches would symbolize male and female, bride and groom. When sun light shines and goes through the stone and glass, the couple pledges their solemn oath under the light rays, receiving the most genuine blessings embraced in the nature. When the church is not used for weddings, the Stone Church is open to the public for free.

You will like the way the Stone Church blends comfortably into the surrounding forest when you visit it. It's perfect for praying, unwind, and reflection. It's very quiet there as the church, while located near an resort area, is far from the crowd.

How to go there?
Naka-Karuizawa Station is the transport center of the Naka-Karuizawa area. It is connected to Karuizawa Station by trains on the Shinano Railways line (5 minutes, 230 yen, 1-2 departures per hour) and by town loop buses (15 minutes, 200 yen, one departure every 1-2 hours).


Music: Killing Time/ Kevin MacLeod ("Killing Time" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
incompetech.com

Source: Japan Travel
http://en.japantravel.com/
http://japantravel.com/permalink/16315

Read more from Tomoko Kamishima: http://japantravel.com/author/tomoko.kamishima/profile

Music: Killing Time/ Kevin MacLeod ("Killing Time" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
incompetech.com

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