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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

History

Trappistine Convent トラピスチヌ修道院

Japan's first convent, the Trappistine Convent in Hakodate, offers an unexpected religious experience

Temples and shrines abound in every Japanese town, but Hakodate is one of the few places home to a Trappistine Convent. Peaceful and quiet, the convent is steeped in history and Catholic culture. Take in the beautiful buildings and surroundings, while learning about the lives of the nuns residing here.

Don't Miss

  • Wandering through the beautiful gardens
  • Viewing statues of Catholic icons
  • Purchasing a Madeleine cake from the convent store

How to Get There

Take a bus from Hakodate Station to arrive at the tranquil surroundings of the Trappistine Convent.

The Trappistine Convent is located in Kamiyunokawa in Hakodate. A shuttle bus runs between Hakodate Station and the Trappistine Mae Bus Stop. The trip takes about 35 minutes one way. From the bus stop, it is a short 10-minute walk to the convent. The convent is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. most of the year, and from 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. in winter. The convent is closed from December 30 to January 2. Entry is free.

Quick Facts

Trappists are a religious order belonging to the Roman Catholic Church

The Trappistine Convent is the first convent in Japan, established in the 19th century

Its formal name is “Our Lady of the Lighthouse Trappist Monastery”

Explore European architecture

The Trappists brought unique European architecture with them to Japan. The beautiful red-brick buildings combine Gothic and Romanesque architecture. You will feel like you're walking the grounds of a European castle. While most buildings are closed to the public, visit the museum to see many photos of the convent's interior.

The buildings were finished in their current state in 1927.

Beautiful surroundings to see

The Trappistine Convent stands on a hill looking across the city center towards Mt. Hakodate and the sea. The gardens that surround the convent provide a tranquil and holy atmosphere.

The garden features an array of religious sculptures, honoring important figures in Catholic history. The statues include Joan of Arc, Mother Teresa, and the Archangel Michael. In spring, cherry blossoms bloom, adding a floral fragrance to the smell of incense.

Learn about the lives of the nuns

The women who live at the Trappistine Convent live a quiet life of prayer and labor. Approximately 80 nuns are living at the convent at any given time. Devoted to hard work and prayer, the nuns start their day at 3.30 a.m. and go to bed at 7.45 p.m. The women pray seven times throughout the day and also spend time studying the sacred texts of the Trappist Order.

Buy cakes and cookies from the convent

The nuns prepare delicious Madeleine cakes, cookies and butter candies. These sweet treats are popular with tourists and are available at the Trappistine Convent store. The nuns are able to live a self-sufficient life by making and selling these confections. Consider purchasing a selection of cake and cookies, which make for a great souvenir.

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