26 June 2017. It was drizzling when I went to Nagasaki during my Japan trip with my friend.

The alley to Oura church was a unique place where you could only find western buildings. You would feel like you’re somewhere in Europe, not Japan. Entrance fee for this church was ¥600. Paid at the ticketing counter just at the bottom of the stairs to the church, we also took the English version of the information book about the church.

#LittlePilgrimage 31. Ōura Church, Nagasaki, Japan, 〒850-0931 Nagasaki Prefecture, Nagasaki, Minamiyamatemachi, 5-3

The Basilica of the Twenty-Six Holy Martyrs of Japan (日本二十六聖殉教者堂) also Ōura Church (大浦天主堂 Ōura Tenshudō) is a Roman Catholic minor basilica and Co-cathedral in Nagasaki, Japan, built soon after the end of the Japanese government’s Seclusion Policy in 1853.

In 1863, two French priests from the Sociéte des Missions Étrangères, Fathers Louis Furet and Bernard Petitjean, landed in Nagasaki with the intention of building a church honoring the Twenty-Six Martyrs of Japan, nine European priests and seventeen Japanese Christians who were crucified in 1597 by order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The church was finished in 1864. It was originally a small wooden chapel with three aisles and three octagonal towers. The present structure is a much larger Gothic basilica that dates from around 1879. This version was built of white stuccoed brick with five aisles, vaulted ceilings, and one octagonal tower. The design most likely came from a Belgian plan used by Catholic missionaries in an earlier church built in Osaka. The stained glass windows were imported from France.

To get to this church from Nagasaki Eki-Mae (Train Station), you must go to the tram station just in front of the train station. From there, take blue line bound to Akasako (genki-1), and transferred at Tsuki-Machi #31. Then change to green line bound to Ishibashi (genki-5) and stopped to Ouratenshudo-Shita #50. From this tram station you can follow the sign easily to the Oura Alley, heading to the church itself.

Oura church has now become a tourist attraction and no longer serving a Mass. Beside the church was a Former Seminary building, now is a museum with a lot of artefacts, images and stories about Saint Kolbe. Accross Oura is the new church to serve the Catholic community in Nagasaki.

Here’s the website of the church http://www1.bbiq.jp/oourahp/

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