Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine - Hokkaido

Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine (音威子府八幡神社) is the main shrine of the small village of Otoineppu. It celebrates its annual holiday on July 23rd. It is located on the hill along the outskirts of Otoineppu Village in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan

Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine

Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine details

It was believed that in 1907, one of the first settlers in Otoineppu named Kanjiro Noji constructed a wooden pillar with the words "pioneering memorial" carved on it on what is Kiriwariyama in the northeast part of Otoineppu. He then dedicated it to Amaterasu Omikami Honda.

Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine - Otoineppu Village, Hokkaide

Following that, it was relocated to the village proper, but it was constantly swamped when it flooded, thus it was relocated to the current government office building during the Taisho era.

Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine Main Hall

During those times a small shrine was built by the settlers. The worship hall was erected in 1922 and was relocated to its current position in 1952 when the new government building was completed.

Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine Torii 

Going up the stairs to Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine

Due to the deterioration of the old shrine, Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine was rebuilt using the Shinmei-zukuri architectural design sometime in the late 1960s. Presently, the shrine remains a mukakusha or an unranked shrine. It is also currently unmanned hence visitors won’t be able to get a goshuin here.

Can you spot our car?

The view from the top

My family and I visited Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine for the first time last August 16, 2022, which was the last day of our 5-day "Drive Up North" Road Trip which was my 42nd week here in Japan as an ALT under the JET Programme. It was also the last destination that we visited for the day as we were already driving back home. We made sure to visit it to pay respects and offer some prayers before leaving Otoineppu.

Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine chozuya

One of the monuments inside the shrine grounds

Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine Loyalty Monument

What I like about Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine is the atmosphere of the place. The shrine grounds have nice scenery. However, heads up, you would have to go up numerous steps to reach the shrine if you are entering via the white Torii gate.

Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine Entrance Fee

It’s FREE to enter and explore the Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine grounds.

Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine Operating Hours

Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine is open 24/7.

Why visit Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine?

To be honest, there is nothing to do in Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine as it is unmanned and the goshuin is unavailable. Regardless, it’s a place to pay respects and offer prayers when you visit the village of Otoineppu.

Getting to Otoineppu Hachiman Shrine

From Asahikawa Station, ride the Soya-Sarobetsu (Sarobetsu 1 Limited Express Wakkanai) of the JR Hokkaido. Board down at Otoineppu Station. 

From there, walk for about 1.3 kilometers going to Otoineppu Shrine. 

Travel time: 2 hours and 20 minutes
Fare: 5,550 yen




Overall Rating


  1. I wonder if Otoineppu Shrine is accessible in winter.

    1. It is but it would be difficult to visit it as there might be deep snow in the shrine vicinity and since it is unmanned there would be no one to clear the snow.


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