Welcome to the world of Ghibli!
If you’re looking for a more spiritual experience, then this is the tour for you. Higashiosaka is home to many deities from Japanese mythology, and even the country’s roots are here. With shrines that look like they’re straight out of a Ghibli film, enjoy a not-so-everyday experience in the town of faith and dreams, Ishikiri!
The real-life world of Princess Mononoke!?
The grounds of Hiraoka Shrine are home to Japanese deities. The place looks like the setting of Princess Mononoke. Cross the barrier between the pillars and it’s like you’ve entered the world of Ghibli!
▼Torii, gates that mark the barrier to the spiritual world.
▼The water from this fountain (temizuya) is for purification. Use it to wash your hands and mouth.
▼Another barrier. Step through, cross the bridge, and you’ll be in the sanctum. The bridge is thought to connect this world and the next.
▼A deer statue. Just petting it gently is said to promise good health and happiness for your family.
The town of faith and dreams, and cotton...?
The shopping street is filled with fortune telling shops! Many people visit Ishikiri because of the mystical energy believed to be there.
▼Inside the shopping street is also a workshop that makes handwoven fabrics and textiles.
▼Feel the quality of cotton cultivated in Higashiosaka for yourself. It’s very soft, almost like touching a cloud.
▼A finished product. They’re used in places like the entrance to Higashiosaka concert hall.
Behind a temple, rests a tomb...
▼The shopping street has a beautiful garden, and in that garden is a temple. Not far away is a tomb hidden on the premises. It’s like you could almost hear something from inside...
A peculiar scenery
As you continue, you’ll come across this unique townscape that you won’t see anywhere else. It’ll be sure to leave an impression.
▼The Ishikiri Buddha statue sits here, as if watching over the travelers that come to visit.
▼Here is a reincarnation of Buddha, engulfed in flames. He wards against evil spirits. People with a strong supernatural connection are sure to see something here.
▼Here’s a sort of older style fortune telling shop. You can get advice for anything from romance to work.
▼Ishikiri is famous for these, akashiyaki. They look like takoyaki, but you dip them rather than cover them in sauce. While takoyaki are more well-known, they were actually preceded by akashiyaki.
Pray in this sacred spot.
Fans of the Touken Ranbu video game/anime may recognize the Ishikiri Shrine. It and a sword it houses has appeared in the series.
▼Learn how to pray in front of the main shrine. Before asking for anything, first express gratitude.
Feel the mystery of the Orient!
Take a train 20 minutes out from the city, head to the foot of Mt. Ikoma, and you’ll find this place with its air of mystery. Many Ghibli films draw inspiration from nature and the shrines that exist within that nature. So Ghibli fans, take a step out of the city and explore the roots of those masterpieces!