Please contact us before you visit the churches for UNESCO World Heritage status.
* You can visit Oura Cathedral without prior notice.

■Reference number for your prior notice

Notice for visiting the churches

As the churches are the places for prayer, please observe visiting manners and feel the solemn atmosphere quietly.
In some cases we cannot accept visitation to the churches due to religious events (Mass, funerals, etc.) or a too large number of visitors. To avoid such situation, we ask you to make a prior notice for your visit.
In addition, the inside of Ono Church is not open to the public basically because of the deterioration, so the visit is the outside only.
Tabira Church is an important property to be related to the sites for UNESCO World Heritage status, and a lot of people visit the church.
For this reason, we ask to make a prior notice for your visit Tabira church in the same way as the sites.

Home > Manners for visiting the churches

Manners for visiting the churches

The churches are not tourist attractions but important places for Christians to pray.
When you visit the churches as a sightseer, please observe proper visiting manners and keep in mind to feel comfortable for everyone.

We would like you to observe the following rules:

  • The chancel (the altar and the area around it) is a holy place. Please do not enter it under any circumstances.
  • The Mass (religious service) is a sacred ceremony. Please do not take photographs of it.
  • Eating and smoking are forbidden.
  • Please avoid talking loudly and running around in the churches. When visiting with children, please make sure they also observe proper visiting manners.
  • Please do not touch the various ceremonial objects, Bibles, or ornaments.
  • Toilets of the churches are intended for use by local church-goers. Please use other toilets if possible.
    Please wear clothes suitable for this holy space.
    There is no dress code but avoid immodest clothes.
The churches are usually open to the public as the place for prayer. (However some churches are locked for security.)
The front door is used mainly for ceremonies. When the notice “take your shoes off” is posted, please remove your shoes and put them in the shelf. Please also remove your hat and make sure to enter quietly.
The water basin near the entrance is the “font”.
Christians use it to make the sign of the cross and cleanse themselves as they enter the church.
Please take a seat quietly.
Eating, smoking and drinking are forbidden in the churches. Please refrain from talking in a loud voice. The Bibles and prayer books on the chairs and desks are owned by local Christians, so please don’t touch them.
Please take in the solemn atmosphere of the churches.
These churches are permeated with the prayers of generations of people who have lived in the area. Listen calmly to their praying.
The chancel is the holiest part of the church.
The altar is set in a raised part of the front of the church, called the “chancel”, and Mass is held there every morning to commemorate the Last Supper. As only the clergy are allowed to enter the chancel, please do not enter it under any circumstances.
No photos inside the churches.
Please keep record of your visit in your mind, not in your camera.
Visitors are sometimes not allowed to enter the churches during Mass.
Most churches hold Mass on Sunday morning to commemorate the Last Supper. Some churches ask non-Christians not to enter during Mass. Even if you are allowed to participate in Mass, the ceremony called “the Eucharist”, which involves receiving a small piece of white bread, is intended only for Christians. Non-Christians are supposed to remain quietly seated during this ceremony. Please refrain from entering the churches while people are praying or while ceremonies like weddings and funerals are being held.
If you would like to give thanks:
You can put a donation in one of the offertory boxes in the churches if you would like to show your thanks.

*Your donation will be used for the maintenance and management of the churches.


The chancel
The chancel


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