Japan Travel Guide - Let's go to Japan!
HOME > Nagasaki Prefecture > Urakami Cathedral

Urakami Cathedral

Urakami Cathedral Urakami Cathedral is the Japan's greatest Roman Catholic church, and is located about 0.5 km east of Peace Park.

Since the early 17th century, Christianity had been banned.
But hidden Christians had been alive in Urakami district.
After the the abandonment of an isolation policy in the 1850s, Western merchants came to Nagasaki and foreign settlement was formed in Nagasaki.
And Oura Catholic Church was built in 1864 for staying Western people.

At that time, a few hidden Japanese Christians met the Father, and confessed that they had been Christians.
But Edo government caught this news, and many people in Urakami were caught, tortured and exiled.

But this suppression provoked harsh protests from many other countries, so the government found that banning Christianity made the treaty negotiations difficult.
At last, modern Meiji government founded in 1868 lifted the ban on Christianity in Japan in 1873.

Christians in Urakami built the first church in 1879.
And the greatest cathedral in the East was completed in 1914.

But on August 9th, 1945, this great cathedral was destroyed by A-bomb in a moment.
At that time, many Christians were offering prayers for the coming day of Assumption of Mary.
All of them were killed.

And the new cathedral was rebuilt in 1959.
In 1981, Pope John Paul II visited here, and held a mass.

Some of the remainders are preserved.
A part of the wall has been moved to Hypocenter Park.
A part of the belfry is preserved at the place where it was blown and fallen by the blast of A-bomb.

And the Father found the wooden statue of Virgin Mary from the wreckage. It had been set up on the alter.
He was able to find only the part of head. Some parts of it were burnt, and the eyes were empty because the heat of A-bomb had melted the glass eyes.
It is known as "Bombed Virgin Mary".
In 2005, a small chapel was built near the cathedral, and the bombed Virgin Mary has been enshrined.
(It traveled in Vatican in 1985 and in Belarus in 2000 to encourage the victims of Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident.)

How to get to here

By streetcar

By street car with route No. 1 or 3, get off at Matsuyama-machi stop.
About 10 minutes walk from there.




Urakami Cathedral
Urakami Cathedral
Photo by artworks
Ruin of original cathedral
Belfry blown by the blast
The Virgin with Japanese face and Child Statue of Pope John Paul II
Chapel enshrining Bombed Virgin Mary Bombed Virgin Mary

Copyright © travel-around-japan.com. All Rights Reserved.
Sponsored Links



Spots in Nagasaki city and Prefecture

Dejima
Shinchi Chinatown
Oranda-zaka
Confucius Shrine
Oura Catholic Church
Glover Garden
Megane Bridge
Sofukuji
Martyrdom Memorial
San'no Shrine
Hypocenter Park
A-Bomb Museum
Peace Park
Urakami Cathedral
Nyokodo
Mount Inasa

Gunkanjima
Shimabara
Mount Unzen
Kuju-ku islands
Hirado
Fukue island