Inagawa Reien and Sayama Lakeside Cemetery in Japan, designed by Hiroshi Nakamura and commissioned by the Boenfukyukai Foundation, harness the force of nature.
A man sits at a table at the end of a long, curved space with flowers, a cup of tea and a box of tissues. He stares out of the window over a reflecting infinity pool to the Sayama Hills. The configuration and atmosphere of the place offers privacy. Alone in his thoughts and memories, tears run down his cheeks.
I am here to visit two buildings – the community hall in which the man sits, and a chapel – both part of the Sayama Lakeside Cemetery. Witnessing this intimate moment was a humble reminder of the purpose of the place an hour’s train ride west of Tokyo, in a reservoir and recreation area known for its natural beauty.
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