Hiko-jinja Shrine (飛行神社)

Hiko-jinja is a shrine located in Yawata City, Kyoto Prefecture. It is dedicated to Nigihayahi (child of Tenjin, god of heaven) and plane crash victims. The shrine is built in the style of Greek architecture. It was built by Chuhachi NINOMIYA who first studied the flight principle in Japan.


Chuhachi NINOMIYA succeeded in an air trial with a model plane with engine in 1891, but he stopped developing an airplane when he knew that the Wright brothers successfully made a two-person airplane. However, Chuhachi was grieved about the increasing number of plane accidents after the invention of airplane, and felt responsible as one of those involved in the development for consoling the spirits of air crash victims. He put his own money to build the shrine dedicated to the spirits of the victims in 1915.

The shrine is a type of Shokon-sha Shrine that is sacred to the deceased who meet a certain condition, and has the same base of belief as the Yasukuni-jinja Shrine.

The present main building rebuilt in the style of Greek architecture in 1989 by Kenjiro NINOMIYA, the second son of Chuhachi NINOMIYA to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Chuhachi's discovery of the flight principle. The Torii (Shinto shrine archway) is made of duralumin, which is often used for airplanes.

Enshrined deities

In the middle; Nigihayahi (child of Tenjin, god of heaven)

Right; the spirits of air crash victims and persons with distinguished achievements in the aviation industry

Left; Yakusoshin (deity of herbal medicine), Konpira (guardian deity of seafaring) and Dragon god

A myth says Nigihayahi no mikoto descended to the earth by Amenoiwafune Ship, and was associated with the god of air and aviation (Amenoiwafune is interpreted as airplane) and was chosen as the enshrined deity. The shrine was founded as a branch shrine of Iwafune-jinja Shrine of Katano City, Osaka Prefecture.

The main hall on the right is dedicated to persons with distinguished achievements in the aviation industry and all the air crash victims in the world. The victims in Japan are enshrined with individual names, and the victims outside Japan are enshrined without individual names.

The main hall on the left is dedicated to Chobei TAKEDA, the founding deity of the pharmaceutical Industry, Konpira (guardian deity of seafaring) and the white dragon god of Jinushigami (god of an area of land). Yakusoshin (deity of herbal medicine) is enshrined because Chuhachi NINOMIYA worked for a Pharmaceutical company, and Konpira is enshrined because he believed in the Kotohira-gu Shrine (dedicated to a god of ship, which is associated with airplanes) in Sanuki Province. The white dragon god is a snake that appeared in the precincts enshrined as jinushigami.

Shrine in precincts

Tokiwa-Inari Shrine

Rites and festivals

January 1: Saitansai (Saitansai is a Shinto ritual to mark the beginning of the New Year, followed by a special sharing of sake (rice wine) in a barrel and mochi (rice cake) pounding ceremony)

April 29: Annual festival

It is dedicated to the air crash victims, the sufferers and the deceased of the aviation industry.

September 20: Airplane Day


The nearest station: Yawatashi Station, Keihan Electric Railway

A four-minute walk

The surrounding area

Shokado (cultural property designated by Kyoto Prefecture) - tea hut/tea room and jibutsudo (a small hut with an Buddhist alcove)

Hakkakudo (octagon hall)

Shobo-ji Temple (Yawata City)

Iwashimizu Hachiman-gu Shrine


At Mominoki Pass in Manno-cho, Kagawa Prefecture where Chuhachi came up with the flight principle, 'Ninomiya-hiko-jinja Shrine' was built in 1991.

[Original Japanese]