St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo

St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo, Bunkyo

St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo

St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo
4.5

Tours and Tickets

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.
Popular mentions

4.5
142 reviews
Excellent
77
Very good
48
Average
14
Poor
1
Terrible
2

jktrock
Sagamihara, Japan692 contributions
Not quite interesting unless you are an architect major
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.

John S
Poquoson, VA257 contributions
Beautiful, Modern Cathedral
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.

JensTetz
Berlin, Germany322 contributions
Iconic church by Kenzo Tange
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.

Bima088
Jakarta, Indonesia290 contributions
Christmas Mass in Japanese, our first experience
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.

Tokyo Local Sites
Bunkyo, Japan121 contributions
One of a kind Cathedral
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.

GringoAlto2000
Hartford, CT1,296 contributions
I’m sorry..... but I’m honest ...
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.

Courtney C
Melbourne, Australia106 contributions
Beautiful and unexpected
Sep 2018 • Solo
This cathedral was a bit out of the way and took a little deeper to find out about online, but the architecture and design of the place are stunning. The Gokokuji area itself, while upper class, is a great introduction into suburban Tokyo too.
Written September 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bellatako
Nashville, TN1,802 contributions
Spectacular. If interested at all in modern architecture it is a must
Apr 2018 • Couples
An absolute must if you have any interest in modern architecture. The exterior is spectacular but the interior is even more awe-inspiring. You do not have to be religious to appreciate the architecture and beauty of this building. It’s even more majestic that it just arises from within a residential neighborhood.
Written April 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

pkmurphy
Monte-Carlo, Monaco85 contributions
Fantastic experience!
Dec 2017
My family andI visited the Tokyo Cathedral for Christmas Mass this year. It was an exceptional experience - the architecture of the cathedral, the interior decoration (SO Japanese!) and especially the music. It is well worth the visit - even if we understood not a word of the service - all in Japanese! (The do hold English Masses as well.)
Written January 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

BML
Singapore, Singapore21 contributions
A GREAT WORK OF ARCHITECTURE
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.

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