News Release

Public Invited to Tour the Okinawa Japan Temple

This is the fourth house of the Lord in Japan

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invites the public to visit the Okinawa Japan Temple, the fourth of its kind in Japan. Other temples are in Fukuoka, Sapporo and Tokyo.

A public open house will be held daily from Saturday, September 23, through October 7, except Sundays. The temple will be formally dedicated by Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Sunday, November 12, 2023, in two sessions, at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tickets to the open house are available here

Downloadable Media Kit PDF

Media Day

At a media day on Thursday, September 21, at a chapel next to the temple, Elder Erich W. Kopischke of the Seventy addressed invited guests and journalists before they walked through this new house of the Lord. Invited guests also toured the Okinawa Japan Temple on Friday, September 22.

Elder Kopischke told journalists from Japan and Korea that the temple is the House of the Lord and is a symbol of Jesus Christ’s light to the world. “In a world that is sometimes full of confusion and darkness, the temple is a beam of light and brings clarity and peace.”

Asia Area President Takashi Wada said, “There are nearly 2,000 Japanese and American members who worship at various churches throughout Okinawa each Sunday, who are unitedly excited to have the blessings of the temple.”

Colonel Glenn Bright, Head Chaplain from the Kadena Air Base 18th Wing, thanked the Latter-day Saint community for “welcoming us into your temple and into your lives and we look forward to a future of friendship.”

Nettie Francis, the communication subcommittee chair for the Okinawa Temple open house said, “It is fitting that we have members of both the American and Japanese communities here today. Church members in Okinawa have served side by side for over seventy years. The Okinawa Temple is a culminating symbol of peace on our beautiful island." 

Ms. Ayano Tuuma, Single Mother and Widow Welfare Federation, Prefectural Organization President, thanked the Church for its work on a project that provided food and brought the Christmas spirit to disadvantaged women and children. They value collaboration with the Church in efforts which benefit the community.

Temple Exterior

The temple exterior derives from traditional Okinawan architecture. The arches over the windows are inspired by portals in traditional stone walls, like those at the Shurijo Castle, Nakagusuku Castle and Sogenji Temple. 

The decorative floral band that connects the arches alludes to the traditional karamon gate. The structure consists of reinforced concrete with a granite exterior. 

The stone is Sunset Gold Chinese granite from Wenshang, Shandong Province. The art glass design is inspired by Okinawan bingata stencils and patterns. Many native plants adorn the temple, such as fountain palms, sago palms and Chinese hibiscus.

The two-story, 10,000-square-foot temple is on a half-acre site at 7-11-32 Matsumoto, Okinawa-shi, in Okinawa-ken, Japan. A patron waiting area has been added to the adjacent meetinghouse that was completed in 2013.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Okinawa

The Church has had a presence in Okinawa and the surrounding Ryukyu Islands since the 1940s. That presence now includes a Japanese-speaking stake and an English-speaking district with more than 5,500 members. Japan is home to more than 130,000 Latter-day Saints in over 230 congregations.

American servicemen in Okinawa shared the gospel with Japanese people long before proselytizing efforts were officially organized. The first Japanese members were baptized December 25, 1955. Their baptisms inspired the mission president to send the first assigned missionaries to Okinawa on April 17, 1956.

President Russell M. Nelson announced plans to build the Okinawa Japan Temple at the April 2019 general conference. At the groundbreaking of the temple on December 5, 2020, Elder Takashi Wada, Asia North Area President said, “We pray that we, and all those who pass near this site, will feel thy presence.” He continued, “May the inspiring vista bless the entire community, including those not of our faith, and become a cherished landmark for all who live or visit here.”

Latter-day Saint temples differ from chapels and meetinghouses, where members gather for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered houses of the Lord where Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through sacred ordinances that unite families for eternity. Inside, members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve Jesus Christ and others.

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