Japan Places of Worship: St. Agnes Church, Kyoto
St Agnes Church 聖アグネス教会
St. Agnes Church was constructed in 1898 and was part of Heian Jogakuin which is now Heian Women's University. St. Agnes Church is a member of the Nippon Seikokai, established in 1887, a part of the Church of England. St. Agnes Church has its beginnings in the work of various missionaries who entered Japan through Nagasaki after that port city was fully opened to western trade in the 1850's.
History of St. Agnes Church
St. Agnes Church is one of the oldest churches in Kyoto. During World War II it was requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) and was used as a storage site for supplies. Since the war St. Agnes Church has become the cathedral for the Diocese of Kyoto and the chapel for St. Agnes' Girls' School.
St. Agnes Church was designed by American architect James McDonald Gardiner (1857-1925) in the Gothic style. The church is built in brick with three aisles and a three-story bell tower. The interior of the church is typical of the church architecture of the Meiji Period, when Christianity was once again legalized in Japan after the long, two-hundred year persecution of the Tokugawa regime.
The original church of St Agnes has undergone significant renovation since it was built especially in 1931. The church contains over 30 stained glass windows, including the west Rose Window, which dates back to the church's founding. The windows are original designs by James McDonald Gardiner crafted by Japanese artisans.
Access - Getting to St. Agnes Church
St. Agnes Church is a short walk north from the Marutamachi subway station on the north-south Karasuma Line of the Kyoto subway. Kyoto buses that stop near St. Agnes Church include the number #10 and #51 from Sanjo Keihan and the #65, #93, #202 and #204 from Keihan Marutamachi. The church is right next door to Sugawarain Tenmangu Shrine.
St. Agnes Church
Karasuma Shimodachiuri-kado, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, 602-8021
Tel: 075 432 3015
Services at St. Agnes are held every Sunday at 7am, 8.30am (in English), Japanese Sunday School at 9.30am and Communion at 10.30am.