Saint Mary's Cathedral in Black and White

I don’t like overcast weather. A few clouds in the sky are more my style. A few of the cumulus type make everything pretty. That’s what I got when I photographed St. Mary’s Cathedral in Tokyo’s Bunkyo ward. It was a classic building under a perfect sky.

I think monochrome was a good choice for these photos. First, by removing the color, the structure stands out. And second, I added contrast to the sky in Photoshop. That created more separation between the subject and background.

Here are some “facts” about the building. Home to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tokyo, it was designed by Kenzo Tange. Construction work finished in 1964, the same year as the Tokyo Olympics. If you could look down on it from above, you would see the building is in the shape of a cross. It’s hard to believe it’s now more than fifty years old. But, as the construction is stainless steel, that should hardly be surprising.

St. Mary’s is a beautiful building. The shape, the angles, and the materials combine to make it something special. I think the architect might have been divinely inspired when he put pen to paper for this project.

The only complaint I can make is that photography is prohibited inside. The interior, especially the altar area, is amazing and needs to be seen to be believed. If you enjoy churches or architectural photography, you should visit Saint Mary’s.

Where is St. Mary’s Cathedral?

The church is near Gokokuji and Edogawabashi Stations (Exit 1a). Both are on the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho line. It is about a fifteen-minute walk from either. Click here to see it on Google Maps.

Photo spots near Saint Mary's Cathedral:

Are public restrooms available?


Wrapping up

Kenzo Tange must have received some divine inspiration when he designed St. Mary’s Cathedral. It is a wonderful place for architectural photographers. And that roof is incredible. But, before you go, just check the weather forecast to get those nice clouds.

For more black-and-white articles, look at:

To see other images of Saint Mary’s Cathedral look at:

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