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26 Saints Pilgrimage route on January 28 in 1597


The route of this day was from Kokura in Kitakyushu to Akama in Munakata via Koyanose ,

the distance was 34.5 km.

Started at Kokura accommodation around Kokura Castle, and walked to Tobata port

along the Kanmon Strait.


Transfered to Wakamatsu from Tobata by a boat.


Walked to Akama through Ashiya and Koyanose, and  then stayed at Akama.


26 Saints Pilgrimage route on January 30 in 1597


The route of this day was from Wajiro to Shikano-shima Island, the distance

was 18 km walk.


Started at Wajiro accommodation and walked through Gannosu to Saitozaki.

When the tide was low, they walked across to Shikano-shima Island, where

the boat port was located.

Stayed on the boat.

26 Saints Pilgrimage route on January 27 in 1597


There were 24 martyrs when they started Kyoto, but two more martyrs were added in

Shimonoseki, then became 26 martyrs in total.


The route of this day was from Karato in Shimonoseki to Kokura in Kitakyushu.

Rode on the boat at Karato, and transfer to Dairi in Kitakyushu



   Kanmon Strait


They landed at Dairi and walked 6 km along the coastline of Kanmon Strait to Kokura,

where was the place to stay.


It is said that they stayed around Kokura Castle.


Akizuki, in Asakura


Akizuki is a former Castle town located in northern part of Asakura.  It is a famous spot for

cherry blossom in spring and fall foliage in autumn.


You can enjoy the harmony of countryside landscape and former castle town scenery that

makes the atmosphere like a time of 400 years ago.

26 Saints Martyrs of Japan Pilgrimage tour


26 Saints are the first martyrs in Japan.


26 Christians arrested in Kyoto who were consisted of 20 Japanese, 4 Spaniards,

1 Mexican, and 1 Portuguese.

They walked from Kyoto to Nagasaki in January and February 1597.

How great were the physical and mental suffering of those 26 men who were

forced to march all the way from Kyoto to Nagasaki during these cold

winter days, and they all ascended to heaven at Nishizaka Hill on Februay 05.


This tour follows the pilgrimage routes of 26 saints from Fukuoka to Nishizaka.

And also visit the relating places of 26 Saints.



The customized tour is planned as per the following conditions.

1) The tour starts from Fukuoka  

2) Private vehicle is utilized as per number of person

  ・less than 7 persons : chartered taxi with English speaking driver

  ・more than 8 persons : chartered bus with Japanese speaking driver,

       English speaking tour guide navigates the tour

3) Accommodation

   ・Type : Western style accommodation, Japanese stye accommodation called Ryokan  

   ・Grade : economy, intermediate or luxury

4) Meals :Japanese cuisines, local specialities



Day 1   Hakata to Sonogi pilgrimage route, Nagasaki






Welcome to Fukuoka ! You will be greeted tour guide.

The privete vehicle is used for the tour


Pilgrimage route : Hakata Port to Sonogi Port : total 120km

Actually, 26 martyrs took 4 days for the following route 

・February 01 : Hakata port → Itoshima → Karatsu →Yamamoto ; 58km

                                stay in Yamamto

・February 02 : Yamamoto → Tokusue ; 5km

                                stay in Tokusue  

・February 03 : Tokusue → Takeo ; 31km

                                stay in Takeo

・February 04 : Takao → Ureshino → Sonogi Port : 26km

                                Sonogi Port to Tokitsu port by a boat, and stay on the boat


Drive to Nagasaki   

Check in the Hotel

Dinner at the Hotel

Stay in Nagasaki 


Day 2   Tokitsu to Nishizaka Pilgrimage route, Nagasaki 





Breakfast at the Hotel

Drive to Tokitsu

Tokitsu Port

  The place where 26 Martyrs arrived by the boat on the cold night of February 04, 

  and dawn on February 05, they got off the ship with a cold body and landed

  at Togitsu Port

Follow the Pilgrimage route by the use of privete vehicle

  12km path to Nishizaka, the place of martyrdom. Passed through the mountain

  pass, and through Michinoo, Akasako, and Urakami

Visit Nishizaka Hill, 26 Saints Martyred on February 05, in 1597 


Visit the 26 Martyrs Museum  

Visit Saint Filippo de Jesus Church

Visit Nakamachi Church

Return to the Hotel

Dinner at the Hotel

Stay in Nagasaki 


Day 3   Nagasaki Pilgrimage sites  





After breakfast, check out the Hotel


Visit Oura Cathedral

lunch at Dejima Warf

Visit Urakami Cathedral

Visit Peace Park 

  Atomic Bomb Museum

  Ground Zero and remained Urakami Cathedral column 

  Peace Statue


Drive to Fukuoka

Check in the Hotel in Fukuoka

Japan’s first Seminary


In 1579, Priest Alessandro Valignano of Jesus from Portugal came to Japan to inspect

the situatin of missionary work in Japan.

Valignano believed that training Japanese priests and monks was the key to the success

of missionary work in Japan.

And then, he made the Japan’s first Seminary in Shimabara peninsula in 1580, where was

the Hinoe Castle town of Arima Harunobu. 



Among the first students, included member of Tensho youth mission to Europe who were

Ito Mansho Ito, Chijiwa Miguel, Hara Martino and Nakaura Julian.

Note : Seminary is an educational institution established in Japan by the Society of Jesus

between 1580 and 1614 to train Jesuit priests and monks.


Hidden Christian site, Kasuga Village


Kasuga Village and Mount Yasugatake is a Christian Pilgrimage site and is registered on

the World Heritage as Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region.


This idyllic, remote village was refuge to a small community of Hidden Christians who

practiced here for centuries, far from the prying eyes of the government. After the ban on

Christianity was lifted, the local villagers decided to continue practicing their own unique

brand of the religion rather than rejoin the Catholic Church. As a result, churches were not

erected in the village, and the religion remains outwardly invisible.

Hidden Christians


Oppression against Christians began with the Tokugawa shogunate’s ban

on Christianity. The missionaries were expelled to oversea countries, and

those who remained secretly in Japan were also captured and martyred.

Konishi Mansho who was the last Priest during the ban on Christianity,

was also martyred in 1644.

In the absence of priests, believers pretended to be Shinto or Buddhist

ostensibly in order to protect their faith.

The Christian organizations were created in each village to continue the

Christian faith and the faith was passed down from parents to children and

from children to grandchildren.



Hidden Christian

Even after lifted ban on Christianity, people who continue to practice their

faith in the same way as before are called “Hidden Christians”.

Hidden Christians in Nagasaki have been passed down since the ban on

Christianity in Hirado, Ikitsuki, the Goto Islands, Sotome, and around Nagasaki.


Kurose no Tsuji, martyrdom site of Gaspar Nishi Genka


The site where Christian Gaspar Nishi Genka was martyred in 1609, located on

Kurose Hill overlooking Nakae no shima between Hirado and Ikitsuki.

The tomb facing the sea is called Gaspar-sama and is a revered place for Ikitsuki’s

Hidden Christians.

The cross-shaped “Kurose no Tsuji Martyrdom Monument” was erected by Catholics

in 1991, and Mass is held every year around November 14th.



Gaspar Nishi Genka was the first martyr of Ikitsuki and the father of Thomas Rokuzaemon

Nishi who was one of the 16 Saint of Nagasaki, dedicated in Nakamachi Church in Nagasaki.


Saint Filippo de Jesus Church ( Japan 26 Saints Memorial Church )


This is a church with Gaudi-style twin tower designed by Kenjiro Imai,

built next to the Nishizaka Martyrdom site



When there was a plan to build a memorial hall for the 26 Japanese Saints

next to Nishizaka Martyrdon site, a large donation was made from Mexico,

and the Church was built in 1962.

This church is dedicated to Mexican Filippo de Jesus, who is one of the 26 Saints.

Filippo de Jesus was a Franciscan Catholic missionary who became one of the

26 Martyrs of Japan, the first Mexican Saint.