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Maria Chapel 乙女峠マリア聖堂

Maria Chapel Maria Chapel
Maria Chapel Maria Chapel

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.

Quick Facts

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.

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