Iya Valley Road-Trip - Day 5 Part 3 The Water Temple, designed by Tadao Ando

Tadao Ando is a famous self-taught architect who has designed many world-renowned pieces, and won international numerous awards.


Visit @ Honpukuji Mizumidou

本福寺水御堂

Hyogo, Awaji, Ura 1310 [Google map link]

Parking (free) [Google map link]

9am-5pm. "Entrance" fee ¥400


Arrived 1:30pm - Departed 2pm

The Water Temple is a Shingon Buddhism Temple, re-designed by Tadao Ando, completed in 1991. Despite the small compact structure, the sensory impact is intense. One reaches the Water Temple after transversing through the original temple compound which houses a cemetery. Behind a whitewashed concrete wall, a large oval pond with lotus flowers greets the visitor. A stairway splits the pond into equal parts. After a momentary space of darkness, a light glows, tinted with vermilion red, awakens the senses. You are now in the sanctuary.


The main hall lies in the middle of this circular temple. There are two entrances, yet there are two exits. There is no right entry.


Following the concrete walls in the clockwise direction, a gateway on the right leads one into the heart of the Water Temple.


Continue to walk around the corridor of the Water Temple in the same direction, one would be dressed in a mosaic of light that shines through the perforated red door. The enlightenment?


We bade farewell to this solemn temple, and we thanked it for the moment of peace it offered to the busy pace of our journey.


Next: Day 5 Part 4 Awaji Yumebutai, also designed by Tadao Ando

Prev: Day 5 Part 3 Ryozenji, the No. 1 Temple of the Shikoku Pilgrimage