A church hidden within the mountains
In contrast to the nearby Shitsu church, Ono church was built in a quiet and secluded location
If, from the centre of Nagasaki, you travel by car along national highway 202, Ono church is approximately 10 minutes away once you have passed through Shitsu. Just before Kounoura, head into the mountains on the right hand side. After passing through Makino and Oohira (located halfway up Mt. Ono), you will arrive at Ono church, which sits along a narrow mountain road.
The church was built by Father de Rotz, who also built Shitsu Church. The latter offers extensive views, having been built in a spot where it would be easily visible from a great many locations within the surrounding area.
By contrast, Ono church sits silently amid thick woodland. No conspicuous cross can be seen, although there is a very small one on top of the roof tiles. It is so modest and humble in appearance that it charms the heart all the more. It also contributes to the atmosphere of quiet sanctity which surrounds the church.
The church is surrounded by woodland on three sides, but on one side there is a road looking out to the Sumo-nada sea. When the sun sets there, the white statue of Mary is bathed in orange light and projects a distinctive silhouette onto the church. Given that much of the church is wrapped in forest, the church’s inner space is one which lends itself to quiet prayer.