Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Day1839: Something to maybe amaze you?

Madame, old photo, collage & digital

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Something to maybe amaze you?
When I see something so special that I need to share, I share.

Ando Tadao’s Hill of Buddha


photo by Hiroo Namiki  

Normally a cemetery wouldn’t be something I'd share
but the Makomanai Cemetery is an awe-inspiring place.  
Located in the outskirts of Sapporo, a large 1500 ton  
stone Buddha occupies the verdant landscape, 
it has sat alone there for 15 years. 
The cemetery wanted to do something to increase 
 visitor’s appreciations for the Buddha, 
so they enlisted architect Tadao Ando
who had a grand, bold idea: hide the statue.

photo by Hiroo Namiki

“Our idea was to cover the Buddha ...
below the head with a hill of lavender plants,” said Ando. 
Indeed, as you approach “Hill of Buddha” the subject 
is largely concealed by a hill planted with 150,000 lavenders. 
Only the top of the statue’s head pokes out from the rotunda, creating a visual connection between the lavender plants 
and the ringlets of hair on the Buddha statue’s head.

photo by Hiroo Namiki

Upon entering, visitors are forced to turn left or right 
and walk around a rectangular lake of water before 
entering the 131-ft (40-meter) long approach tunnel. 
The journey is a constant reminder of the weather, 
the breeze, the light,  works in tandem to heighten 
anticipation of the statue, which is only visible 
once you reach the end of the tunnel.
Any time of the year, visitors will have a different experience. 
The 150,000 lavenders “turn fresh green in spring, 
pale purple in summer, silky white with snow in winter.” 
It really is a miraculous work of environmental art.

photo by Hiroo Namiki
photo by Hiroo Namiki

The Makomanai Cemetery is a little difficult to get to, 
but well worth the effort.

photo by Hiroo Namiki
photo by Hiroo Namiki

By car it’s about a 30-min drive from central Sapporo. 
Also accessible by subway from Sapporo Station to 
Makomanai Station and then board the #2 or #3 bus.

photo by Hiroo Namiki

It's on my bucket list.

A smile for Tuesday ...

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