What is a Trappist Monastery?

Although familiarly known as "Trappists" our formal name is the Cistercian Orderof the Strict Observance. We are one of the religious orders belonging to the Roman Catholic Church. The Cistercian Order has an ancient history and we trace our origins to the year 1098 in Citeaux in the Burgundy region of France. The Cistercians are a contemplative Order following the observances of the Rule of St. Benedict. Under St. Bernard of Clairvaux the new Order witnessed a remarkable expansion so that from the 12th to the 13th centuries there were about 1800 monasteries of the Order spread throughout Europe. Centuries later a part of the Order followed the reformed strict observances of the abbey of La Trappe in Normandy and so became known as the Cistercians of the Strict Observance, or more popularly called the "Trappists." At present the total number of monks and nuns in our world wide order totals about 4,500. We live a life of "prayer and work" dedicated to world peace and the happiness of all humankind.
You Tube Movie of our Monastery1
You Tube Movie of our Monastery2

  A Guide to Oita Trappist Monastery  
The second monastery of Trappist monks in Japan

Oita Trappist monastery is located on a hill in the Yufu mountains commanding a fine view of Beppu Bay. As partof the Roman Catholic Church our official name is, "The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, Our Lady of the Annunciation Monastery" The first Trappist monastery in Japan was founded with assistance from the French abbey of Bricquebec in Normandy in 1896 (Meiji 29) and is located in Kamiiso near Hakodate, Hokkaido. We are located in Hiji town, Hayami-gun, in Oita prefecture. The monastery was established in 1980 (Showa 55) on July 11th, the feast of St. Benedict by seven monks who were sent from the abbey of "Our Lady of the Lighthouse" in Hokkaido. Living the monastic life of "prayer and work" we follow the teachings of Christ and theRule of St. Benedict interceding for the salvation and peace of the world. It is said that St. Francis Xavier, the first to preach Christianity in Japan landed at Hiji, and so like Nagasaki this town is regarded as very important in the history of Japanese Christianity.

  Daily Life at Oita Trappist Monastery

Our monastic life is based on the Rule of St. Benedict (480-547). This Rule contains a compendium of the teachings of Jesus as found in the Gospels and they are intended to be fully put into practice. This way of life encourages us to always seek God with deep eyes of faith and to put everything into practice in our daily life in His presence.
Life in a Trappist monastery is lived with God in silence and solitude, praying while working and working while praying. As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ we offer our lives in service for the salvation of all. We remain separated from secular society and as such we do not engage in direct evangelization. Nevertheless through unceasing prayer, and a hidden penitential life, in a mysterious manner God's grace is continually implored for all of humanity.


The day of the Trappist monk begins at 3:30 am. We live in common as brothers celebrating the Eucharist, praying the Divine Office seven times a day, working and devoting ourselves to the prayerful reading of the Scriptures. The small hours of the Divine Office, Tierce, Sext and None are related to the division of time as it was established in the Roman period. While our practice of silence is not as absolute as in past times it still remains a characteristic observance of Trappist life.
  The Trappist Monasteries of Japan
There are two monasteries of Trappist monks (Cistercians of the Strict Observance) and five monasteries of Trappistine nuns in Japan.

Our Lady of the Lighthouse Abbey

329 Mitsuishi Hokuto-Shi Hokkaido 049-0283 Japan

Our Lady of the Annunciation Monastery
3350-7 Minamihata Hiji, Hayami-gun Oita-ken 879-1509 Japan

Our Lady of the Angels Abbey

346 Kamiyunokawa Hakodate 042-0914 Japan

Our Lady of Nasu Abbey
3101 Toyohara, Nasu-Machi Tochigi-ken 329-3224 Japan

Our Lady of Nishinomiya Abbey
3-46 Jurinji-cho Nishinomiya 662-0003 Japan

Our Lady of Imari Abbey

P.O. Box 3, Imari Saga-ken 848-0032 Japan

Our Lady of Azimu Abbey

Kayagomori Azimu-machi Usa-gun Oita-ken 872-0723

Unlike the regional division of other religious orders into provinces, each Trappist monastery is independent. However the monasteries of Japan form a regional union with the other Trappist monasteries of Asia and Oceania. This Oriens region of the Order facilitates communication and cooperation among the monasteries.

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Entrance into Oita Trappist Monastery

The following are some requirements for those who may be considering a desire toenter the monastery: The candidate must be a single male, baptized a Catholic for at least three years, and zealously living the Christian life. He must obtain the recommendation of his parish priest and the consent of his parents to enter.Such a candidate must be willing to live his entire life as a celibate person. He must not have any family dependents, and as a member of the Order he will not be able to have personal possessions. In addition to good physical and mental health one must have sufficient adaptability to live a life in common withothers. After entrance into the monastery there is a six-month period of postulancy followed by a two-year novitiate after which the candidate makes his first temporary vows. Following this three year period, the monk makes his solemn profession promising a life time commitment to monastic life.
You Tube Movie of our Monastery3

  Road Map to the Monastery
Arrival by Air Plane Oita Airport

From there 30 min. by car.

Arrival by Train
Nippo-line JR to Beppu Station. From there 30 min. by car. Kyudai-line JR to Yufuin Station. From there 30 min. by car

Arrival by Car
Traveling on the Usabeppu highway get off at the Hayami interchange headed in the direction of the African safari Park. 10 min. from there.

For further details contact: Oita Trappist Monastery, 3350-7 Minamihata, Hiji, Hayami-gun, Oita-ken 879-1509 JAPAN Tel. (81)-977 (67) 7523 FAX(81)- 977 (66) 7938



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