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.

Oura Cathedral and its precinct

Japan’s oldest church and national treasure

In 1862, the Paris Foreign Missionary Society dispatched two priests, Louis Theodore Furet and Bernard Thadee Petitjean, to Nagasaki to construct a church in commemoration of the 26 martyrs. The former was in charge of architecture, while the latter conducted research on the martyrdom and located the exact site of the execution. In 1864, the church reached completion at No.1A Minamiyamate in the Nagasaki Foreign Settlement. The church had a cross and a sign bearing the Chinese characters tenshudo, meaning “House of God.” Called fransudera (French Temple) by the people of Nagasaki, the church attracted many onlookers.

The following year, several people, who had heard rumors of a statue of the Virgin Mary, came to the church hoping to see the holy image. They were hidden Christians from Urakami Village visiting the church to confirm the advent of religious freedom prophesied by Bastian. They asked about the statue and revealed their faith to Fr. Petitjean. For the first time in some 220 years, Japanese Christians met face to face with a Catholic missionary, although Japan was still under severe religious controls.

In 1933, the church was designated a national treasure. The atomic bomb damaged the church 12 years later, but it was soon restored and the designation of national treasure reinstated.

Access Reference

world heritage

Oura CathedralOura Cathedral
Nagasaki City, Nagasaki
Shitsu Village in SotomeShitsu Village in Sotome
Nagasaki City, Nagasaki
Ono Village in SotomeOno Village in Sotome
Nagasaki City, Nagasaki
Villages in Kuroshima IslandVillages in Kuroshima Island
Sasebo City, Nagasaki
Kasuga Village and Sacred Places in HiradoKasuga Village and Sacred Places in Hirado
Hirado City, Nagasaki
Village Sites in Nozaki IslandVillage Sites in Nozaki Island
Ojika-cho, Kita-Matsuura-gun, Nagasaki
Villages in Kashiragashima IslandVillages in Kashiragashima Island
Shinkamigoto-cho, Minami-Matsuura-gun, Nagasaki
Villages in Hisaka IslandVillages in Hisaka Island
Goto City, Nagasaki
Egami Village in Naru IslandEgami Village in Naru Island
Goto City, Nagasaki
Hara CastleHara Castle
Minami-Shimabara City, Nagasaki
Sakitsu Village in AmakusaSakitsu Village in Amakusa
Amakusa City, Kumamoto

related sites

Tabira ChurchTabira Church
Hirado City, Nagasaki
Hinoe CastleHinoe Castle
Minami-Shimabara City, Nagasaki