St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo, Bunkyo

4.4
#43 of 1,739 in Historic Sites in Tokyo
St. Mary's Cathedral (東京カテドラル聖マリア大聖堂 Tōkyō Katedoraru Sei Maria Daiseidō) is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tokyo. It is located in the Sekiguchi neighborhood of Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan.
The original wooden structure, constructed in 1899 in the Gothic style, was destroyed during the air raids on Tokyo during World War II. The present church, designed by Kenzo Tange, was completed in 1964. Tange was assisted by Wilhelm Schlombs, architect to the Archdiocese of Cologne, construction engineer Yoshikatsu Tsuboi, who had worked with Tange on previous projects, and Swiss architect Max Lechner.
The layout of the building is in the form of a cross, from which eight hyperbolic parabolas rise in a manner similar to the slightly later landmark cathedral located in San Francisco, also referred to as St. Mary's Cathedral. The parabolas open upwards to form a cross of light, which continues vertically along the length of the four facades. To this rhomboid volume other secondary constructions are added, including the baptistry and the baptismal font. The rectangular shapes contrast with the symbolic character of the cathedral. The bell tower is 61.6m high, standing a short distance away from the main building. The exterior cladding is made of stainless steel. In 2004 a large organ built by Italian firm Mascioni was installed.
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St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
125 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • When I stayed at Tsubakisanso, I noticed that it was across from me and visited it. I was able to see the fresh appearance and the inside, and was able to experience a solemn atmosphere.
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  • I visited organ meditation most of the night, but i visited it for the first time on weekday lunch. The cathedral designed by Kenzo Tanshita is a godly design no less than you can look up at. After praying in Lourdes, we entered the cathedral. The ceiling and the cross light which seems to reach the heaven, and the pipe organ are played by chance, and it echoes to the cathedral. It's great. Next organ meditation, please check at 19:00 on Friday, March 8.
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  • Beautiful and peaceful Cathedral. Maintained well and the architecture is also impressive. Photography is not allowed inside and its open for public from 9am to 5pm. Nice ambiance to sit and have a peaceful prayer. There is a souvenir shop near the church and the administrative office nearby. There is one underground chapel at this Cathedral where masses are conducted in Japanese. Rest rooms are also very clean and well maintained.
  • Definitely worth a visit. Incredible architecture. We went on a Thursday afternoon and were the only people there so it’s a great way to escape the crowds of Tokyo and relax looking at some unique shapes.
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