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Church of Light

Posted on 19 November 2011

Travel date: 7 November 2010
Location: Ibaraki, Osaka

Ibaraki Kasugaoka Church in Osaka, designed by famous architect Ando Tadao.
Though it’s more known with the name “the Church of the Light”.

It was a Sunday morning: just me, bunch of unknown people, and the 15° concrete wall.
I don’t quite know what was the prayers all about, nor I believe in god(s).
But am very glad that I went. Wonderful day, wonderful strangers.

The Story

I’ve always wanted to visit the church after reading about it from a book written by the lead vocal of my favourite band years ago. That’s right, that’s Ashin from Mayday and the book in question is 浪漫的逃亡 (Escape to Japan). Was extremely curious about the name “church of light” and what made it so special, and, the architect Mr Ando seems like a big name. So I made a point that I have to visit the place when I visit Osaka.

Following the instructions on the website, I emailed the pastor of the church to ask for permission to join a Sunday service and if I can stay back for awhile to visit the church after the service and he gladly replied a yes to me. So there I go! :)

The Sunday service itself was conducted in Japanese, but me and other foreigners got a copy of English bible from the friendly church people. This is probably also my first time attending a Sunday service so most of the time I was just following what the others do: standing up, hymns singing, sitting down, listening to the pastor.

The chapel is surprisingly quite small but it has this calm and peaceful charms, despite the concrete walls. I don’t know much about the architecture and its aesthetic values, but it was nice that the pastor spent some time with the visitors and told us some stories about Mr Ando and the church. Though I probably caught about 20% of what he was telling, as the conversation was in Japanese. ^^” Nevertheless, I did spend a very nice Sunday morning there.

The "hole" on the wall

Fellow visitors

The 15° concrete wall

Things to take note

The exterior

How To Get There

  • Take subway from Namba station (難波駅,Y15) to Nishi-Umeda station (西梅田駅,Y11)
  • Change to JR line, take the train from Osaka station (大阪駅) to Ibaraki station (茨木駅)
  • From Ibaraki station takes Kintetsu Bus #12 and get off at Kasugaokakouen stop (春日丘公園), the bus ride takes about 10min
  • Just a bit of walking from Kasugaokakouen you’ll reach the church, if you’re lost, just ask around. I think all locals know about it. :)

Related: Full itinerary of this trip

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