St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo

St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo

St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo
4.5
The area
Address
Neighborhood: Ikebukuro
Ikebukuro is an area of massive development. Several thousand tenants occupy two giant department stores and shopping malls, where all sorts of shopping and gourmet foods can be enjoyed. The 60-story building at the east entrance of the station, Sunshine City, is a landmark within Ikebukuro and features an aquarium, planetarium, theme park as well as an observation platform. The popular name for the western side of this area is "Otome Road" (Maiden Road) and there are many shops selling products related to anime with a female theme. It has rapidly become the worldwide headquarters for ‘otaku’ or geek culture.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles146 reviews
Excellent
81
Very good
48
Average
14
Poor
1
Terrible
2

mbs5
Lansdale, PA162 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
I LOVE Churches and architecture! We went to mass at St Mary's Cathedral in Tokyo. We do not speak any Japanese but its so comforting to go to a Catholic mass anywhere in the world and be welcomed. The hymns the choir sang were beautiful. The architecture is very modern - minimalistic. A Holy place to focus on God in peace without distraction! So happy we had that experience.
Written April 26, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tokyo Local Sites
Bunkyo, Japan121 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Solo
Actually went to celebrate fall foliage at Chinzanzo Hotel on Friday Dec 23rd which was a National Holiday. After exiting the hotel I was attracted by the strong glare being reflected from the cathedral's facade. Let's say I was drawn to the "Light."
The design is definitely impressive and I was surprised to know it was a place of worship. Couldn't imagine this was designed and built in 1963-64 by Tange Kenzo. Most cathedrals have a Gothic, Renaissance or Romanesque design and architecture but St. Mary's Cathedral looks absolutely modern and different.
The pamphlet has a picture showing a nice birds eye view of the cathedral where you can see it has eight walls that form a large cross and the outer stainless steel supports symbolises the light of Christ while the dull, concrete walls inside the cathedral represent God as the pillar, rock and foundation of Christians.
To top it off, I thought I had gatecrashed a couple's wedding ceremony but it seems other visitors were also graciously invited to witness the proceedings, too. The huge Pipe Organ, designed to gel in with the architecture, sounded deep, strong and majestic. It was definitely a wonderful experience to be part of this occasion.
The cathedral is a little out of the way. It is a 15 min walk from Edogawabashi station on the Yurakucho subway line Exit 1A or Bus No:61 departs from Mejiro Station on the JR Yamanote line and drops you directly outside the Cathedral.
Will definitely take my Catholic friends / family to worship there, when they visit me next.
If you are looking for a place to grab a bite, try out 'Oto no ha Cafe' right across from the cathedral.
Written December 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John S
Poquoson, VA273 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
Very stunning architectural cathedral with some interesting relics from the magi (Cologne Cathedral is its partner), John Paul II and St. Faustina. Very goad we went to see it.
Written January 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jktrock
Sagamihara, Japan738 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Family
If you happen to be in the area (Mejiro) stop by and visit. Other than that, I wouldn’t make a special trip (unless you major in architecture). Steel cathedral, seems very impersonal. There is absolutely nothing around it worthy a tourist eye. However, across the street there is Hotel Chinzanso with impressive banquet/wedding facilities. So, if you are into F&B, it might interest you.
Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GringoAlto2000
Hartford, CT1,296 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Business
I love spiritual places, chuches and shrines of all faith.

Thought I’m a devout and very liturgically open Roman Catholic, I thought this quite overwhelming sterile and emotionally void for a prayer and worship environment.

Maybe those who are thrilled with the architecture are in their glory, I found it almost impossible to pray.

Sorry to be negative but at least I’m honest.

PS: Where’s the Cross?
Written November 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bima088
Jakarta, Indonesia294 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Family
We visited here the last time during mid year.
This time finally we can attend the Christmas Mass. So grateful.
Although the mass was in Japanese, we could blend in with the rest in good prayers.

We took pictures after the mass was finished.
Written December 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BML
Singapore, Singapore21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2018 • Solo
Toured this Church this morning.
A bit hard to find from Metro Station, but it was worth the visit. No Mass unfortunately but the Church is open as some maintenance guys are working inside.

Exterior: I can't believe it was done in the 60's. Tange San is definitely ahead of his time. The form of the building is stunning.

Inside, you could feel deep serenity. I love how he used the organic color of concrete to achieve a very peacful ambiance.

This Church is a must for every Architect viaiting Tokyo.
Written January 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mutt
Melbourne, Australia11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2015 • Couples
I'm not given to superlatives, but the architect and builders have produced something, which in church design terms, is simply awe inspiring. It is a church design which speaks to the modern age. It's clean lines and angular planes draw the senses and mind upwards..transcendentally even. It's a beautiful juxtaposition of a Japanese take on a Christian tradition. And you won't see anywhere else like it.
Don't look for much in the furnishings. They're a bit old fashioned Catholic and some of the "extras" (like the grotto and the life sized Pieta) hark to a different time in the church. For the musicians, the acoustics have to be experienced to be believed.
Written September 28, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Philapedia
County Dublin, Ireland218 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2013 • Solo
I visited in December 2012. I had been working in Tokyo for awhile and decided to go here for Sunday morning mass. The building itself is very nice inside and outside, and for the mass they had a booklet in English, although it was in Japanese and difficult to understand what was going on sometimes.
Written June 25, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JensTetz
Berlin, Germany335 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019
There are so many temples, shrines and pagodas to see in Tokyo – that makes visiting a church sometimes a bit more special (even when you are European). This cathedral is definitely something extraordinary. It's a masterpiece by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. You can take the metro to Gokokuji Station and then walk about 15 minutes. You will find an iconic modern church which is stunning from the in- and outside. You can visit it free of charge but it's officially not allowed to take photos. If you are in the area you can also visit the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo Garden which is close to St. Mary's.
Written December 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo, Bunkyo

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