キリシタン洞窟

Christian Cave - Christians’ Cave - Kirishitan dōkutsu


Useful Information

Location: Wakamatsugo, Shinkamigoto-cho, Minamimatsura-gun, 853-2301 Nagasaki Prefecture.
(32.847120, 129.018970)
Open: no restrictions.
[2022]
Fee: free.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=50 m, W=5 m, H=5 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Christian Cave, Wakamatsugo, Shinkamigoto-cho, Minamimatsura-gun 853-2301 Nagasaki Prefecture, Tel: +81-959-52-4964.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History

1967 a cross with a height of 4 m and a statue of Christ with a height of 3.6 m were placed at the entrance.

Description

キリシタン洞窟 (Kirishitan dōkutsu, Christian Cave) is a sea cave which is rather hidden and invisible from the water. It is also a through cave and about 50 m long. The cave has a smaller passage crossing, so it is shaped like a cross.

From the end of the Edo period to the beginning of the Meiji era, there were numerous events where Christians were persecuted, all around Nagasaki. Various groups of Christians, Yonosuke Yamashita, Hisahachi Yamashita, Sennosuke Shimomoto and others in the Satonoura area hid themselves in this cave. However, once the smoke of the fire used to prepare breakfast was seen by a boat on the sea, who informed the officials. As far as we understand the refugees in the cave were caught. This made the cave a Christian monument. A cross with a height of 4 m and a statue of Christ with a height of 3.6 m were placed at the entrance in 1967. Every November, about 100 people, mainly members of the Doinoura Church, land at the cave and hold a mass and pray inside.

The cave is accessible only by boat, the easiest way is to charter a boat at the nearby Doinura harbour. There are no regular trips we know of. Such a boat trip with a small boat allows leaving the boat and walking to the cave and go inside. There is also a nice natural bridge nearby, which you should also visit. The captain of your boat will know all the relevant sites.