A chapel designated for to represent the coming together of two people in marriage is located on the grounds of a Seto Inland Sea hotel called Bella Vista. It is a modern chapel known as Ribbon Chapel due to its spiraling appearance. It was designed by Hiroshi Nakamura (中村拓志), a Japanese architect. In order to embody the act of marriage in its true form, two staircases have been built to look as if they are woven together.
The chapel is able to stand due to the intertwining of two spiral staircases which meet at the summit. The ribbons act as roofs, eaves, walls and floors. It was also designed to shield the whole place from the sun. An abstract representation of the ribbons is the idea of marriage where couples undergo bumps and challenges before uniting as one. At the central part of the ribbons is the chapel where chairs can be arranged for guests to wait.
The aisle is perfectly opposite a tree in the garden, which could possibly be another symbolic gesture by the architect.
The Ribbon Chapel has been painted only in white on its external walls as well as its main pathway. It is primarily finished with wood panels so as to blend in with the nature that surrounds it. And because it is near the sea, titanium zinc alloy was used in making the structure to prevent any breakage from the sea breeze.
The bride and groom would normally walk down the aisle. However, with the presence of two staircases, they will have to walk up separately to meet at the top. After the wedding ceremony takes place, they would then be able to walk down the staircase side-by-side as a married couple.
There are so many styles of wedding ceremonies in Japan but Ribbon Chapel is just one of the few enchanting venues. Witnessing a couple marry in a place like this chapel is like unfolding a story full of love and hope for the future.
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