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Established in 1927 in Hakodate, the Trappisine Convent is Japan's first Catholic convent. Built using Gothic and Romanesque styles, the brick exterior and semicircular-arched windows are a charming change of pace to the numerous Japanese temples and shrines commonly found around the island. Many tourists who walk along the convent mistake the grounds for a small European city, especially when touring along the convent's museum open to the public. Although many refer to it as the Trappistine Convent, the formal name is
Our Lady of the Lighthouse Trappist Monastery.
Along the grounds of the convent are beautiful gardens featuring an impressive collection of religious sculptures. Honoring the important figures in Catholic history, the statues include famous figures like Mother Teresa and the Archangel Michael. The popular figure Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc) can also be seen among the statues. Jeanne d'Arc is particularly popular in Japan, often being referenced in various anime such as Fate Apocrypha or Grand Order. During the spring, the garden's cherry blossom trees begin to bloom making the garden grounds an even more attractive destination along a Hokkaido tour.
While at the convent, guests can learn about the lives of the women of the Trappistine. The nuns lead a quite life filled with prayer and labor, beginning their days as early as 3:30 AM and retiring around 7:45 PM. The nuns pray seven times a day while studying the sacred texts of the Trappist Order. Apart from praying, the nuns also work on baking delicious Madeline cakes, cookies, and butter candies. A common practice in the Trappistine order, the confectioneries are a popular souvenir for tourists. Available at the convent store, selling these cookies help keep the convent self-sufficient and are a loved souvenir by many. Come pick up your own box of Madeline's while learning more about Japan's first convent during a Hokkaido tour, or ask your travel agent about a custom tour for a private Hokkaido vacation with your own personal tour guide!
Panoramic View Point from Lake Toya to enjoy Hokkaido Scenery
The First & Oldest Beer Brewery in Sapporo, Hokkaido
Hakodate Goryokaku - A Star-shaped Fort with five bastions
One of the best single malt whiskies in the world, Hokkaido Whisky
The most famous Cookie Sandwiches of Hokkaido
One of the largest museum shops in Japan featuring music boxes in Hokkaido
Hokkaido Brick Warehouse, Restaurants, Stores, Souvenir Shops
Nagasaki's oldest Catholic church; only Western structure listed as national treasure