• Culture
  • Akita

Catholic Convent Seitai Hoshikai

A small pilgrimage destination dedicated to a statue of the Virgin Mary that shed tears 101 times

The small Institute of Catholic religious nuns leading devoted lives of prayer can be found on a hilltop in a semi-rural area on the outskirts of Akita City. The chapel is dedicated to the statue of the Virgin Mary that is said to have shed tears for a total of 101 times from 1975 to 1981. It is one of the few approved Marian apparitions in the world. Its Garden of Mary for praying is open to everyone.

The statue of Our Lady of Akita

The statue of Our Lady of Akita, which was carved in 1963 by a wood sculptor from Akita City, is also well-known in other countries as a statue of the weeping Virgin Mary. Tears started to flow from the statue in 1975 and continued until 1981 for a total of 101 times. The cotton swabs used to wipe the tears away were tested and the tears have been proved to be of human origin.

The chapel of Seitai Hoshikai

The chapel of Seitai Hoshikai was built in Japanese-style architecture by "Miyadaiku (carpenters specializing in temples and shrines) from Takasaki City in Gunma Prefecture with the hope that the Catholic Church would take root in the spiritual climate of the people in Japan. The chapel, which was completed over seven years, was dedicated to the Mother of the Redeemer. The statue of Our Lady of Akita is enshrined on the left side of the corridor while the statue of Saint Joseph sits on the right side.

The Garden of Mary and the Garden of the Lamb

The Garden of Mary constructed in the Japanese style is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Anyone can enter the garden to offer prayers. There is also the Garden of the Lamb built for meditation and prayer.


Name Catholic Convent Seitai Hoshikai
Website http://www.seitaihoshikai.com/us/
Address 1 Soegawa Yuzawadai, Akita-shi, Akita
Access From the bus station at the West Exit of JR Akita Station, take a bus bound for Akita Onsen or Nibetsu Resort Park for approximately 20 minutes, get off at Yuzawa bus stop and walk for approximately 10 minutes
Business Hours April to November: 9:00 to 11:30; 13:00 to 16:30
December to March: 10:00 to 11:30; 13:00 to 16:30
Inquiries TEL: 018-868-2139

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