Two churches in Hoshino

I visited two churches in the Hoshino area: Karuizawa Kogen Church and Uchimura Kanzo Memorial Stone Church.

The former is a wooden church built in 1927. It used to be a lecture hall for liberal arts courses. A Christian evangelist and philosopher, Kanzo Uchimura (1861-1930), and other intellectuals gathered there, and talked passionately, pursuing spiritual growth and enrichment.

The building looked reserved and modest, completely surrounded by tall trees. It looked as if it were part of nature. It was very quiet. All I could hear were birds singing from among the trees.

Stone church, built in 1988, is very close to Karuizawa Kogen Church. It is made of local stone bricks from Karuizawa. It was designed by an American architect, Kendrick Kellog. He embodied organic architecture through this church by incorporating the five natural elements of light, water, wood, stone, and greenery.

The church is curved from east to west, according to the sun’s orbit, and the glass ceilings are arranged so that they can always take in sunlight. You can feel nature whether you are inside or outside of the building.

I found some pretty flowers heralding the arrival of spring near the churches.

Japanese Butterbur
Grape hyacinths

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