Maria Chapel 乙女峠マリア聖堂
A serene chapel in the mountains built to honor Christian martyrs
After a short walk through the dark forest, you enter a sunny clearing and find something quite unusual in Japan: a Christian chapel. Maria Chapel was built in 1951 in memory of a group of Japanese Christians who met their deaths in this tranquil spot more than a century ago.
Christianity was outlawed in Japan for more than two centuries
Christians still secretly practiced their faith
How to Get There
It is a 15-minute walk from Tsuwano Station. The last few minutes are up a paved mountain path.
The Tsuwano martyrs
More than 100 secret Christians from Nagasaki were transported to this area, and many of them died under torture. The statues and stained glass windows here reveal something about the tragic story.
On May 3, a procession travels from the Catholic Church in the town up to Maria Chapel. Afterward, an open-air mass is held.
After heading back into town, you can visit Yomeiji Temple if you take a right turn just before crossing the train tracks.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.