Discover the mystery that is Japan with Rev. Canon Raphael Ueda, I.C.K.S.P. – April 12-22, 2021

Total Cost (based on double room occupancy):
$3795
Cost of single room supplement:
$595
Initial deposit required to hold reservation:
$500
Total cost includes:
R/T air from Los Angeles on a regularly scheduled carrier (LAX-TOKYO-LAX)
Transportation within Japan by air, train and private coach
Breakfast & Dinner daily
Guided touring as indicated on itinerary
Three and Four Star Hotel accommodations throughout
Entrance fees
Daily Traditional Latin Mass

$3,795.00

April 12 -22, 2021
Discount:
Departure:
  • April 12, 2120


Categories: ,

Reservation and payment information

In order to complete your reservation you must also fill in an application form in the brochure below. Please print out the brochure and mail or email the filled-in form to us at the time of paying the deposit. We accept payment by check, bank transfer and credit card (PayPal). Please note that an additional charge of 3.5 % of the total cost will be added if you use PayPal.

Schedule overview

Overnight flight on April 12 from Los Angeles to Tokyo (good add-on fares available from other cities of departure).

One night in Tokyo.

Five nights in Nagasaki.

One night in Osaka.

Two nights in Kyoto.

Day flight on April 22 from Tokyo to the United States.

Special offer

Description

Jesus said “I have set thee to be the light of the Gentiles; that thou
mayest be for salvation unto the utmost part of the earth.” From
Tokyo to Nagasaki, Osaka to Kyoto, travel to holy places sanctified
by holy missionaries, like St. Francis Xavier and St. Maximillian Kolbe. You
will discover the realization of the words of Christ in the midst of the
Land of Rising Sun, Japan. To pray the Holy Mass in these sacred places
is an unparalleled privilege and will give you a new impulse to live out
your Catholic faith and experience the universality of the Church!

        

PILGRIMAGE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • St. Francis Xavier Church in Tokyo with an authentic relic of its patron saint and the National Museum of Tokyo, Japan’s oldest art museum
  •  Discovering the Hidden Christians of Nagasaki who persevered in their faith for over two-hundred years despite being sacramentally deprived 
  • The 26 Martyrs Museum in Nagasaki with historical artifacts and relics including original “fumie”, images of Our Lord and the Blessed Mother that the faithful refused to trample on, even when the penalty for not doing so was death
  • Museum of Takashi Nagai, local physician, radiologist and survivor of the atomic bombings of WWII
  • Unzen Hot Springs martyrdom site (featured in the film, Silence) 
  • The Palaces, Shrines and imperial gardens of Japan’s cultural capital – Kyoto, including a rock garden forming the shape of a cross created by a Samurai warrior and his valient convert wife
  •  St. Maximilian Kolbe’s Hongochi Monastery
  • Grand Cathedral of the Virgin Mary. Constructed in 1963, the cathedral replaced the earlier St Agnes Church that was built in 1894 but destroyed in the bombings during the WWII.
  • Kyoto’s Gion district where several hundreds of geishas are working as professional entertainers attending guests during meals, banquets and tea ceremonies.
  • Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, a beautiful bamboo forest.

Traveling with Canon Raphael Ueda

Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest
Rector of Immaculate Heart of Mary Oratory, San José, CA

Daily itinerary

MONDAY – April 12 Departure from Los Angeles
Mid-day flight departure from Los Angeles to Tokyo Japan.

TUESDAY – April 13 Arrival in Tokyo
Evening arrival in Tokyo, situated on the main island of Japan off the eastern coast of Asia in the Pacific Ocean. Transfer to our hotel to check-in and rest for the evening.

WEDNESDAY – April 14 A day in Tokyo
A day in Tokyo, the capital of Japan! We begin with a visit to St. Francis Xavier Church, one of the oldest Catholic churches in the city and one which was amazingly spared from the air raids of WWII. Here we will have the honor of venerating an authentic relic of St. Francis Xavier, who was among the first Jesuit missionaries to bring Catholicism to the country in the 16th century and whom our pilgrimage is dedicated to. Visit the Tokyo National Museum, Japan’s oldest art museum for a glimpse into the country’s storied Imperial history. Learn of the Salesian missionary, Ven. Fr. Vincenzo Cimatti, Japan’s ”Don Bosco”, who worked in Japan for over forty years until his death in 1965. He founded ”Boys Town” in Tokyo in 1935 and provided over 260 orphans with a Catholic home and primary, secondary and technical schooling. Early this evening we will take a short flight south to Nagasaki on the island of Kyushu, on the western coast of the East China Sea, an area that has long been a bastion of Catholicism in the Far East. Upon arrival, transfer into the city and take in your first glimpse of Mount Inasa overlooking Nagasaki Bay. Check-in to our city hotel for the next five nights.

THURSDAY – April 15 A day in Nagasaki
To understand the history of Catholicism in Japan we have to go back to 16th century with the arrival of Portuguese explorers and missionaries who developed the small but strategically positioned harbor of Nagasaki into a prominent trading post. By the end of that decade, the great missionary, St. Francis Xavier, co-founder of the Jesuits, stopped off here on his way to China and ended up staying two years. He wrote to his superiors that the Japanese were the “best people yet discovered” who were attracted by reasoning and a desire for conviction. He baptized nearly one thousand souls and established the most important Christian community in the Far East at that time. In his footsteps, a steady stream of Jesuits continued to arrive in the country through 1570, baptizing nearly over 300,000 souls. As Christianity grew, the Tokugawa Shogunate soon issued a proclamation against it, outlawing it to the point of death for those who persevered in it. For the next two hundred years until the Meiji Era, its adherents were persecuted and martyred by the tens of thousands. All churches and missionary centers were destroyed and catechists were martyred. New missionaries arriving from Europe were easily found by the authorities by their accents and few escaped

martyrdom. The Christian community in Nagasaki fled to offshore islands and inland into the Urakami Valley becoming mostly farmers and fisherman. They devised ways of nurturing their faith without priests and cultivated an underground church, an act of amazing grace which Pope Pius IX considered a miracle. The first of these 26 martyrs were canonized in 1862 and have been commemorated in the church calendar on February 6 ever since. Today we will ascend Nishizaka Hill in Nagasaki where they were crucified in 1597. Amongst them were Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries and lay Christians alike. Preceding their martyrdom, they were forced to walk 600 miles from Kyoto to Nagasaki. It was told that they sang the Te Deum as they walked. Here on the site of their martyrdom is the Twenty-Six Martyrs Museum with historical artifacts and relics including original “fumie”, images of Our Lord and the Blessed Mother that the faithful were told to trample on or otherwise face martyrdom. Mother Teresa stopped here in 1982. Next, we will visit the O’ura Church, a basilica and co-cathedral dedicated to the martyrs. Completed by French missionaries in Gothic style in 1864, at the end of the Edo Period, it was built to serve the growing community of foreign merchants in the city. However, one year later the resident priest, Fr. Bernard Petitjean, discovered fifteen Japanese men and women from the village of Urukami at the door telling of the beloved Catholic faith which they kept hidden in their hearts and camouflaged. This was the first evidence revealed to foreigners that the faith planted by the missionaries in the 16th century had truly blossomed and lived on through generations of individuals. In gratitude to God, Fr. Petitjean led them to a statue of the Virgin Mary in the church, one which today is known as the “Statue of the Virgin Mary of the discovery of hidden Christians”. When he found out that there were more of them, up to 30,000 altogether, living in small villages and remote islands without priests or formal religious instruction, he appointed a brother missionary, Fr. de Rotz, to be the parish priest of the Shitsu and Kurosaki districts to serve them. Also visit Hongochi Monastery and Church, founded by St. Maxmillian Kolbe during his year in Japan. Here we can see the lovely Lourdes grotto he built.

FRIDAY – April 16 Excursion to Hirado
Today we will set off on an excursion to Hirado, the fourth largest island of Kyushu, and former Dutch trading post. The highlight of our day will be a visit to St. Francis Xavier Memorial Church, built to commemorate the arrival of St. Francis Xavier in 1550, introducing Christianity to Japan for the first time. Near the church is a traditional Japanese temple surrounded by bamboo groves, making for an interesting panorama reflecting the harmony of Japanese and western culture that Nagasaki is known for. Also visit Tabira Church, built in 1917 by the French missionaries, for the newly discovered Christians. Overnight in Nagasaki.

SATURDAY – April 17 Unzen Hot Springs martyrdom site
Today we will visit the Hot Springs Resort in Unzen, featured in the film, Silence, based on the acclaimed novel by the Japanese Catholic novelist, Endō Shūsaku, who drew from the oral tradition passed down through generations telling of the suppression of Catholicism in Japan, the persecution of its faithful and the Jesuits who worked amongst them. The natural phenomenon of the hot springs was the backdrop of a chilling scene of martyrdom for the Christian peasants who took part in the Shimabara Rebellion against the local rulers (Dec. 1637 to April 1638). Visit the Unzen Church in the Unzen National Park, followed by the sights of the Shimabara Rebellion. An important spot connected to the rebellion was the Hara Castle, whose ruins we will visit before returning to Nagasaki.

SUNDAY – April 18 Nyoko-do and the Dr. Takashi Memorial
Today we will visit the Takashi Memorial Museum. Takashi Nagai was a local physician, radiologist and survivor of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki (WWII). Although raised in the Shinto religion, Dr. Takashi discovered Catholicism, was baptized in 1934, and became a lay member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Though seriously injured in the atomic bombing in August 1945, in which his wife was killed, he dedicated himself to treating the atomic bomb victims of the city. In October of the same year he built a hut for himself and his children of what was left of his home in the city center. Later the Society of St. Vincent de Paul built a tea house-like structure for him, which he called “Nyokodo” (from Jesus’ words “Love your neighbor as yourself”). He made this small house a hermitage where he spent the rest of his life in prayer and contemplation. Dr. Takashi died in 1951 at the age of 43 and has been named “Hero of the Faith” by the Catholic Church, as the first step in his canonization process. Next, we will visit the Nagasaki Hypocenter Park and the Atomic Bomb museum, where we will learn more about the atomic bombing which struck Nagasaki on August 9th, 1945, three days after the bombing of Hiroshima. The bombing not only led to the end of the Second World War and the defeat of Japan, but also to terrible suffering for the people of Nagasaki with almost 74,000 fatalities. Only 1640 ft from the spot where the atomic bomb hit the ground, stands the Urakami Immaculate Conception Cathedral, which was completely destroyed by the detonation, but rebuilt in 1959. Statues and artifacts damaged in the bombing are displayed outside the cathedral; the most famous being the head of a statue of the Virgin Mary that survived the bombing, which is displayed in a special chapel in the cathedral. Finally enjoy a boat-ride on Nagasaki Bay taking in beautiful views of the city from the sea. Overnight in Nagasaki.

MONDAY – April 19 Osaka Castle and Grand Cathedral
This morning we will depart for Osaka by private coach (or bullet train), in the Kansai region, home to many cultural landmarks. Upon an afternoon arrival in Osaka (near Kobe, hometown of our chaplain, Canon Ueda) enjoy a panoramic tour of the city passing by one of the most famous landmarks of Japan: the Osaka Castle. The Castle was built between 1583 and 1597 by the 16th century Samurai warrior, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and its castle grounds cover 15 acres. Also visit the

Grand Cathedral of the Virgin Mary. Constructed in 1963, the cathedral replaced the earlier St Agnes Church that was built in 1894 but destroyed in the bombings during the WWII. Early evening check-in at our hotel in the Kansai region for overnight.

TUESDAY – April 20 Kyoto
Today we depart for Kyoto, once the imperial capital of Japan and today regarded as the country’s cultural capital. The city’s many temples, Shinto shrines, palaces and gardens are collectively listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Upon arrival and check-in at our city hotel we will visit a fascinating Zen Garden at the Zuiho-in Temple wherein is the “Garden of the Cross” with rocks forming the shape of a cross, created by the same Samurai warrior who built the Osaka Castle, and his wife, Gracia Hosokawa, a Christian convert who was deeply influenced by Thomas a Kempis ’Imitation of Christ.’ It is believed that there is also a statue of the Blessed Mother buried in this garden to remember the ‘hidden Christians”. Afterwards we will go to another famous Kyoto sight, the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, a beautiful bamboo forest. We will end our day in Kyoto by having a look at the Nanban Dera marker stone, marking the spot where a Chapel was built by Spanish and Portuguese missionaries in 1561. The Chapel, which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was locally referred to as “Nanban Dera”, Japanese for “Barbarian Temple”. The Chapel was torn down after the Jesuit mission was banned in 1587.

WEDNESDAY – April 21 Kyoto
On our last full day in Kyoto we will begin with a visit to St. Joseph’s Church (from 1907), a traditional style church in the city center with a small Japanese garden inside. The Imperial Palace is next. Kyoto was the imperial capital of Japan for over thousand years, and this palace is a reminder of the city’s royal past. The Emperor and his family resided here until the Meiji Restoration of 1869, when the Imperial Family moved to Tokyo, where they still reside. The palace grounds are located in the city center and have the form of a large rectangle containing palaces, ceremonial buildings and large gardens. Along with being a part of Japan’s cultural capital, Kyoto is also the capital of Japan’s Geisha culture. The geishas are famous symbols of Japanese culture. Our next stop is to walk along the Kamo River to the Gion district where several hundreds of geishas are working as professional entertainers attending guests during meals, banquets and tea ceremonies. The last stop on our Kyoto tour will be the Monument to the 52 Martyrs, which marks the spot where the precious lives of fifty-two Christians, including women and children, were martyred at the order of the Shogun. One historian of the religious history of Japan wrote that a “comet and supernatural fires marked this martyrdom. Fact or not, no-one of faith can doubt that Christ Himself was there among the martyrs, the Conqueror of Death, claiming victory amidst those hellish earthly flames.” Tonight we will have our Farewell Dinner.

THURSDAY – April 22 Kyoto – Tokyo Airport for flight home
Morning check-out and departure by private coach (or bullet train) for Tokyo Airport for our late afternoon flight home, arriving to the US on the same day.

Brochure

Download the Japan Pilgrimage brochure here!