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Japan Airport Has Shiba Inu Greeting Visitors, Feels Like Coming Home To Your Furry Pal

Shiba Inu greet visitors at Japan airport

There’s nothing more healing than coming home to an excited tail-wagging pup after a long day. Now, dog lovers can experience the same warm fuzzy feeling even if they’re miles away from home – an airport in Japan now has Shiba Inu welcoming arriving passengers. 

20 Shiba Inus welcome passengers at Hagi Iwami Airport

Shiba inu japan airport - shiba inuImage credit: @gugumorimori

On 18th June 2022, Hagi Iwami Airport – a domestic airport located in Masuda City, Shimane – started offering an unusual pickup service. 

Shiba inu japan airport - shiba inu with their ownersImage credit: @neji.maki.dori

In place of grim-faced personnel holding placards with names, 20 fluffy Shiba Inus wait patiently to greet the arriving passengers. 

Shiba inu japan airport - arriving passengers interacting with dogsImage credit: @neji.maki.dori

Shiba inu japan airport - shiba inuImage credit: @neji.maki.dori

According to Yahoo News, the original plan was to roster 3 to 5 dogs for each session. 

But due to the local dog owners’ enthusiasm, more than 10 dogs participate in the welcoming event that’s held every 2 weeks – a little something different from their usual weekend morning walk. 

Birthplace of the Shiba Inu breed  

Shiba inu japan airport - close up shot of shiba inu
Image credit: @neji.maki.dori

Masuda City is known as the birthplace of the Shiba Inu breed in Japan, which explains the inspiration for this service.

In an interview, organiser Nishimatsu shared that Hagi Iwami Airport is a small airport that has a low footfall as it only services a limited number of domestic flights daily. 

Shiba inu japan airport - shiba inuImage credit: @gugumorimori

It is his hope that the project will not only attract more Japanese tourists to the area, but also international visitors who are fans of the adorable Shibu Inu. 

Available for selected flights only

Shiba inu japan airport - ana planeImage credit: @cameniwakunyapi

In case you’re wondering, the Shiba Inu dogs will not be at the airport every day. Instead, the dogs report for welcoming duties biweekly, on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month. 

Specifically, they are stationed outside the automatic doors at the arrival hall, greeting passengers who disembark from ANA Flight 725, which arrives at the airport at 9.45am. If you need a reason to get up early to catch a morning flight, this is it.

Cute Shiba Inu greeters welcome you at an airport in Japan

For avid travellers, enthusiastic dogs waiting at the airport are the cherry on top of the proverbial cake – not that we need another excuse to visit Japan though. Consider adding off-the-beaten-path prefectures such as Shimane to your future itinerary – you’ll never know what gems you’ll stumble upon. 

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Cover image adapted from (left to right): @gugumorimori and @neji.maki.dori