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Hiko Shrine – Pray for a safe flight and fold your fortune into a paper airplane at “The Shrine of Flight”

hiko shrine osaka

Hiko Shrine translates as “The Shrine of Flight.” As the name suggests, it is a shrine that visitors go to pray for safe air travel. Many of the visitors to the shrine seem to be people who work in the airplane industry.

When I visited the flying shrine in late December, a kadomatsu (a New Year’s decoration like a wreath) was placed in front of the worship hall. I saw the name of the person who dedicated the kadomatsu, which read “Japan Air Self-Defense Force.”

In addition, a nose section of a Mitsubishi A6M “Zero” fighter plane and a jet engine can be found in the shrine grounds, making the shrine a must-see for those who love airplanes.

Here we will tell you about the charms of Hiko Shrine, as well as introduce the red seals and a fortune paper that can be made into a paper airplane and flown.

Also, although the flying shrine is very close, only a 5-minute walk from Iwashimizu Hachimangu Station on the Keihan Railway, it is located in a residential area and is a bit difficult to find. Therefore, we have also provided a visual guide to get you there safely.

I’ve heard of flying shrines, but…when I went there, it was not what I expected. Why not see for yourself?

1. What is Hiko Shrine?

hiko shrine osakaHiko Shrine was founded in 1915 by Chuhachi Ninomiya, the first person in Japan to successfully fly a model powered airplane. It was built in Mr. Ninomiya’s home! Later, in 1989 (Heisei 1), it was rebuilt in its present form.

What gods are worshipped here?

hiko shrine osaka*Click on the photo to enlarge.

Aviation Passionate God
Medicine and Herbal Medicine

The main deity, Nigihayahi-no-mikoto, is descended from Iwafune Shrine in Katano City, which is known for its Iwakutoguri (rock cave tour).

Speaking of Iwafune Shrine, the deity is a giant stone called Ama no Iwafune. Nigihayahi-no-mikoto came to Japan from the heavenly realm aboard the heavenly rock ship. So the main deity is also a god related to flight.

And those who died in the plane crash are worshipped as gods.

What I feel is a little different is the god of medicine. It is the god of medicine. As I will introduce later, Mr. Chuhachi Ninomiya had a career in the pharmaceutical industry. Therefore, people related to Mr. Chuhachi Ninomiya are worshipped as deities at the shrine.

2. About Mr. Chuhachi Ninomiya

hiko shrine osakaAfter joining the Army, he got the idea for the airplane when he saw a crow flying without flapping its wings during a break in a field exercise. In 1891, Japan’s first successful flight test of a propeller-driven airplane using a rubber strap.

He then began researching manned flight, but was opposed by the military top brass and left the military. Aiming to develop the technology on his own, he went to work for a pharmaceutical company to earn money. With the funds available, he resumed research on airplanes, but when he learned that the Wright brothers had succeeded in manned powered flight, he gave up his research and devoted himself to medicine.

In 1915, he built a flying shrine at the present location, and in his later years, he personally served as a priest and prayed for aviation safety. We have briefly introduced the flying shrine and Mr. Chuhachi Ninomiya. Next, we will introduce Hiko Shrine in more detail.

3. There are planes everywhere!

hiko shrine osakaAirplanes are also painted on the tezumisha (water reservoir), located just inside the entrance.hiko shrine osakaHere is another airplane. Above is the crow from which Mr. Ninomiya got the idea for the airplane. Below is probably the Blue Impulse of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.hiko shrine osakaOn the left, a raven above. Below, perhaps a rocket launch.hiko shrine osakaThis is the engine of an F-104J fighter jet of the Air Self-Defense Force. It is hard to see in the reflection, but it is extremely large. It is a bit rare to be able to see the engines of actual fighter planes up close.hiko shrine osakaThis is the nose section of a Mitsubishi A6M “Zero” fighter jet.hiko shrine osakaSide view. This nose section was found in Osaka Bay.

4. Is the worship hall in the ancient Greek style?

hiko shrine osakaHere is the worship hall. It is far from the image of a shrine. As I mentioned earlier, the kadomatsu in front of the hall of worship was dedicated by the Air Self-Defense Force.

5. Even the fortune papers are airplanes!

hiko shrine osakaThere are four types of omikuji (fortune papers) at the Flying Shrine. One of them I was interested in was the Kami Hikouki Omikuji.hiko shrine osakaOmikuji is 200 yen. It is rounded.hiko shrine osakaI opened it and it was Chukichi (medium luck). However, I could not get it to open properly and some of the letters are a little illegible.hiko shrine osakaFold the fortune like a paper airplane when you are done reading it. Don’t worry, there are instructions on how to fold it. Don’t copy mine because it’s terrible.hiko shrine osakaFly the completed paper plane through the hole. The distance is irrelevant, as long as it passes through the circle.

Since I was so curious, I tried flying my airplane through the hoop but failed twice. The third time, I realized that what I wished for was not what I really wanted. Third time is the charm!

6. Red seal

hiko shrine osakaHere is the red seal of the Hiko Shrine. It costs 300 yen.hiko shrine osakaA red seal book was also available. The fee is 1,800 yen.

7. Souvenirs

hiko shrine osakaOsenbei (rice crackers), 300 yen for 8 pieces. These rice crackers are said to be made of Yawata’s specialty tencha stem flour and matcha (powdered green tea) kneaded into the dough. I liked it. There was another one for $500.

How did you like Hiko Shrine? Did you find it different from other shrines?

Next, we will introduce access from Iwashimizu Hachimangu Station on the Keihan Railway.

8. Access

hiko shrine osakaThe nearest station to the Flying Shrine is Iwashimizu Hachimangu Station.hiko shrine osakaThere is one exit from Iwashimizu Hachimangu Station. Upon exiting, turn left. To the right is the cable car stop for the Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine.hiko shrine osakaCross the crosswalk ahead and turn further right. Buses also pass on this road, so please be careful of cars. Ahead on the left is a police box.hiko shrine osakaGo left at the first fork in the road. Go straight here to the first torii of Iwashimizu Hachiman Shrine.hiko shrine osakaTurn left and go over this bridge.hiko shrine osakaTurn right on the first street with the curved mirror.hiko shrine osakaTurn right. Turn left at the next curved mirror.hiko shrine osakaTurn left. Turn left on the road with the curved mirror ahead.hiko shrine osakaTurn left and you will soon see the Hiko Shrine sign on your left. This road is busy, so please be careful.hiko shrine osakaThank you for your patience. You have arrived at Hiko Shrine. The worship hall and shrine office are at the top of the stairs.

A little detour on the way back

Why not take a short detour on the way home?hiko shrine osakaHere is a view of Hiko Shrine from across the street. Go left.hiko shrine osakaExit by the road you took when coming and turn right at the crosswalk.hiko shrine osakaAfter passing through a residential area, you will see a bridge.hiko shrine osakaThis bridge is the setting for the Iwashimizu Festival, a Shinto ritual of Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine.hiko shrine osakaIt is a little confusing, but you can also go down the wooden stairs here.hiko shrine osakaThey were solid, so it’s okay.hiko shrine osakaTurn right to get back to Iwashimizu Hachimangu Station. Straight ahead to the main approach to Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine.hiko shrine osakaLooking back at the Ango Bridge. You can go down to the river level.hiko shrine osakaThere was also a bench.hiko shrine osakaWalk in the direction of the station and you will see a mochi shop on your left. It is a good place to have a cup of tea and a set of Japanese sweets.hiko shrine osakaPast the mochi shop, turn left at the pedestrian crossing.hiko shrine osakaIf you continue to walk down the sidewalk, you’ll arrive at Iwashimizu Hachimangu Station. Otsukare!

9. Information

Name of facility: Hiko Shrine
Address:44 Yahata-Doi, Yawata, Kyoto, Japan
TEL:075-982-2329 (shrine office)
*Please refrain from using the phone on weekends and holidays.
Reception and gate opening hours: 9:00 to 16:30
Access: 5 min. walk from Iwashimizu Hachimangu Station on Keihan Railway

10. Summary

How was Hiko Shrine? Since this is a shrine that prays for the safety of flight, why not visit for those working in airline business, and also those who often fly for work or other reasons?

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Introduction of writer

I was born and grew up in Osaka.Exactly I was born Hirakata, I live in Neyagawa. I went back Hirakata again.