Osaka's Hanazono Rugby Stadium is the oldest rugby field in Japan and is considered as the holy land of high school rugby.
Higashi-Osaka City, where the Hanazono Rugby Stadium is located, is known as a "manufacturing town" and has many small and medium-sized factories making a variety of cool things.
Here are 5 spots you can visit while you are in town for an Osaka rugby match, from historical shrines to manufacturing experiences.
- Table of Contents
- Kawachi Ichinomiya Hiraoka Shrine: Rugby players also come to pray for victory
- Ishikiri Sando Shopping Street: Enjoy the good old days of Japan
- KAMITOWA Higashi Osaka: Experience traditional washi paper making
- Higashiosaka Folk Museum: Has a curious tomb on the premises
- Ikoma Sanjo Amusement Park: Free admission! Enjoy a superb view and colorful playground
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Kawachi Ichinomiya Hiraoka Shrine: Rugby players also come to pray for victory
Hiraoka Shrine is dedicated primarily to Amenoko Yane-no-Mikoto, an ancestor to the Nakatomi clan who is said to be one of the first in charge of divine affairs.
In Japanese history, he holds a fair amount of significance, being commanded directly by the sun goddess Amaterasu to guard the divine mirror within the Imperial Palace.
As you pass through the torii gate and enter the grounds, you will see a sanctuary surrounded by greenery. Hiraoka Shrine is said to have a victorious benefit, given that one of the enshrined gods is also the god for martial arts.
The shrine is also extremely popular with the Kintetsu Liners, a company rugby team with Hanazono Rugby Stadium as its home ground, as every player visits every year to pray for victory.
The deer is regarded as a messenger of the god of martial arts enshrined here, as, in times of old, it was said that this deity had traveled on a white deer.
Several deer statues can be seen around the grounds as well. Guarding the entrance to the shrine is a trio of deer - mother with fawn, and father - instead of the typical guardian dogs. It is said that the shrine brings benefits such as "health and family peace," "children's happiness," and "travel safety" when praying to these deer statues.
- Address 7-16 Izumoicho, Higashiosaka City, Osaka Prefecture
- Phone Number 072-981-4177
Business hours: 9:00-16:00 (parking lot)
Price: Free admission
No regular holiday
Ishikiri Sando Shopping Street: Enjoy the good old days of Japan
Ishikiri Sando Shopping Street spreads out in front of Ishikiri Tsurugi Shrine - known locally as “Ishikiri-san”. Since the 1950s, the number of shops has jumped, and today it has become a bustling shopping street with a retro Japanese atmosphere.
Here you'll find a variety of street foods, all of which are quite popular. Most famous are the different dumplings and other local foods made using Japanese mugwort, such as the “Yomogi dumplings” and “Momogi udon.”
Yomogi (Japanese mugwort) is popular as a Japanese herb. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is called “Gaiyo,” and it is said to improve the intestinal environment and warm and relax the body. So be sure to give it a try!
Souvenirs in this area include Japanese accessories and sweets. Colorful teacups and chopsticks with attractive Japanese patterns make perfect souvenirs.
The famous “Ishikiri Senbei” are hand-baked, so if you are lucky, you can see them being cooked right in the store, which makes for a fun photo. Also, since the products are lined with price tags, it's easy to point and request an item if you don't understand Japanese.
Ishikiri Sando Shopping Street石切参道商店街
- Address 3-3-34 Higashiishikiricho, Higashiosaka City, Osaka Prefecture
Phone number 072-986-8660 (Ishikiri-Sando Shopping Street Promotion Association)
Business hours: Varies by store
Regular holiday: Varies by store
KAMITOWA Higashi Osaka: Experience traditional washi paper making
KAMITOWA is a unique Japanese experience that allows you to make Japanese washi paper. Located in the corner of the Osaka Paper Stationery Distribution Center, it's a 6-minute walk from Nagata Station.
The atmosphere of the nearby wholesale district is also fun, and it is popular with overseas visitors. The classroom is large and can accommodate groups of up to 40 people.
There are two experiences offered here: a washi paper-making experience, and a goshuin temple stamp book-making experience.
The paper-making experience is a fun way of letting you create your own paper using washi techniques. The journey takes about 60 minutes. You can choose from postcards, table mats and tapestry.
Meanwhile, the goshuin temple stamp book takes about 45 minutes. Choose your favorite pattern from Yuzen Japanese paper in Kyoto and make it an original cover book.
The goshuin book is a notebook that holds temple seals given as proof of visiting a shrine or temple. There are a large temple size and a small shrine size, and you can choose between two patterns on the front and back.
Each experience is offered on a reservation basis, but if there is availability, same-day reservations are fine. The website is also offered in English, making the reservation process quite simple.
A Japanese-style room with washi tatami mats is also on display. In addition, the shop sells souvenirs using Japanese paper, such as Yuzen Japanese paper with a beautiful pattern and Tosa Washi, which features thinness. Pamphlets and descriptions are helpfully offered in both Japanese and English.
KAMITOWA Higashi Osaka Main Store紙TO和 東大阪本店
- Address 4-7-27 Nagatanaka, Higashiosaka City, Osaka Prefecture
- Phone Number 06-6747-6633
Business hours: 9:30-15:00
Regular holiday: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday
Higashiosaka Folk Museum: Has a curious tomb on the premises
Higashiosaka City Folk Museum is located in the middle of a hiking course on a hilltop overlooking the Kawachi Plain from an altitude of about 100m. Here, there is an old burial mound in the museum grounds.
The Yamahata Burial Mounds, which were created about 1500 years ago, are the largest tombs in Higashi-Osaka. In the survey so far, 68 units have been found, and there are 5 old tombs in the same site.
In the hall, the traces of people's lives from 20,000 years ago when people started living around here - tools, materials, etc. - are displayed. The exhibition shows how Japan appeared in the past using a variety of drawings and panels.
There are many cultural properties around the museum, such as the Ichishima Hime Shrine, which enshrines the ancient tombs and the guardian deity of water, Ichishima Hime, and is a perfect place for those who want to immerse themselves in the romance of history.
Higashiosaka Folk Museum東大阪市立郷土博物館
- Address 18-12 Kami Shijo-cho, Higashiosaka City, Osaka
- Phone Number 072-984-6341
Hours: 9:30 - 16:30
Admission: 50 yen for adults, 30 yen for high school and college students, 20 yen for elementary and junior high school students
Closed: Mondays, the day after national holidays, during exhibition changes, December 29 - January 3
Ikoma Sanjo Amusement Park: Free admission! Enjoy a superb view and colorful playground
Ikoma Sanjo Amusement Park is located near the summit of Ikoma Mountain at an altitude of 642m. There are many fun attractions for children, and it is popular with couples because of its good view.
Entry is free, and there is also a restaurant in the park. From the terrace seats, you can see the Osaka Plain spreading under your eyes, and on sunny days you can see Kansai International Airport and Akashi Kaikyo Bridge.
The symbol of the park is the “Hot Air Flight" tower. This is an attraction where you can see the Osaka plain from a height of 30m.
There is a lot of playground equipment that you can enjoy the scenery, such as “Balloon Cycle,” where you pedal up and down, and “Puka Puka Panda,” which walks in the air on a panda-shaped gondola. Recommended on sunny days, but it's okay if it rains. There are also indoor facilities such as haunted houses and exciting trains.
Beautiful sunsets and night views are also popular. It is usually open until 17:00, but it is open until 21:00 during the summer. It is very luxurious that you can enjoy such a beautiful night view for free.
The park is closed during the winter months from December to March, so please check the business days and hours on the website before going out. The website supports English, Chinese (simplified and traditional), and Korean.
In July 2019, “PLAY PEAK ITADAKI” produced by Bonnelldo will also open! Young children - even from 1 year old - can enjoy themselves together.
From food culture to history, there are many attractive places near Osaka's Hanazono Rugby Stadium! Whether you are interested in walking around or making a unique souvenir of your own, it's a perfect spot to refresh and enjoy your time in Japan. So be sure to drop in and have fun!
Text by: Shigemi Futaki
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