St Mary's Cathedral in Tokyo

Impressive architecture and quiet spot for contemplation

By Corinna David    - 2 min read

I was all alone and feeling melancholic on a gloomy morning in Tokyo when I decided to research about churches in the city. I was feeling a bit sentimental and wanted to be somewhere peaceful and quiet. Since I am a Catholic, I wanted some solitary moments with God.

As I was browsing online, I discovered St. Mary's Cathedral and was surprised to see how beautiful the architecture of this church was in the photos. "Beautiful" is actually an understatement. This cathedral's gorgeous facade is timeless.

I hurriedly went out and got on the JR Yamanote Line to Mejiro Station. Then, I took Bus #61 from Mejiroeki-Mae and passed by the famous five-star Hotel Chinzanso, where I actually got off. St. Mary's Cathedral is just across from the hotel. I was in awe to see the structure of the cathedral and quite surprised that the place was empty. I can say that this church is so underrated. St. Mary's Cathedral was the best place for me to enjoy my alone time that day.

I learned so much about the cathedral's history, which started way back before World War II. The then-named Tokyo Cathedral was originally made of wood and had a Gothic design. Sadly, the cathedral got destroyed because of the war but thankfully was restored over the years. Architect Kenzo Tange impressively changed the structure into a modernist style made of mostly concrete, stainless steels and Italian marbles. The long vertical window above the cathedral's main door was made of beautifully stained glass to let the natural light inside.

St. Mary's Cathedral has a minimalist vibe and yet uniquely designed. Indeed, a classic taste of great architecture.

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Corinna David

Corinna David @corinna.david

I am a Hello Kitty girl from Manila, Philippines. Teacher of kids with special needs. Enthusiast photographer. Often a traveler, sometimes a tourist. Always young at heart. I do everything with love.

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