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Updated: April 2, 2018

St. Mary's Cathedral 東京カテドラル聖マリア大聖堂

3-16-15 Sekiguchi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo

Visit Tokyo’s most impressive cathedral

The seat of Tokyo’s Roman Catholic Archdiocese, St. Mary’s Cathedral is famous for its cross-shaped structure

Tips

  • Go to a Catholic mass in Japanese
  • See a piece of impressive modernist architecture

The original St. Mary’s Cathedral was a wooden structure in the Gothic style, built in 1899 but destroyed during the air raids of World War II in 1945. The church that stands today was designed by Kenzo Tange from 1960 to 1964, assisted by acoustic and structural engineers from the University of Tokyo. Tange was known for artfully mixing modernism and traditional Japanese styles, and is famous for winning the design competition for Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

The cathedral is notable for its modernist structure, made up of eight curved walls, or hyperbolic parabolas, which form a large cross. It is made of concrete covered by stainless steel. The imposing interior has seating for 600 and standing room for 2,000. It also contains Japan’s largest pipe organ. Sometimes concerts are held here as the acoustics are incredible.

Mass is held in Japanese Monday through Friday at 7am, Saturdays at 6pm, and Sundays at 8am, 10am and 12pm.

How to Get There

  • Gokokuji Sta. | Exit 6 | 10 mins on foot
    Yurakucho Line
  • Edogawabashi Sta. | Exit 1A | 15 mins on foot
    Yurakucho Line

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Contact

Opening Hours

  • 9:00-17:00

Price

Free

Facility Info

  • Restrooms | Smoking area | Parking |
  • Japanese | English |
  • Automatic doors | Wheelchair ramp | Baby changing facilities | Wheelchair loan |

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