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Ghibli Wiki

Flying Kayaks (フライングカヤック , Furaingu Kayakku) are small two-passenger airships seen in the film, Howl's Moving Castle.


It gains its name from its appearance, shaped like a silver kayak with dragonfly-like wings. It has two seats, though seems perfectly capable of holding up to three passengers, and a steering wheel.


Taking Sophie and the now-feeble Witch of the Waste, Howl escapes with this flying airship. The naval officers are letting their family or lovers ride them at the royal plaza of Kingsbury. In battle, a pilot and shooter ride a single ship.

Later on, guided by the light emitted by her charm ring, Sophie navigates the flying kayak back to the castle. But she doesn't know how to stop it, the kayak crashes into the mouth of the castle, destroying the living room.

Behind The Scenes

Supervising animator Akihiko Yamashita explains the difficulty in adapting Miyazaki's design, "Miyazaki designed the flying kayak. The design is very simple, but it was actually hard to achieve an overall balance. The animation was difficult because the seats had open frames. Every time the angle changed, you weren't sure how to draw them correctly. during the chase scene with slow kayaks in pursuit, the ship' bodies would shrink and stretch at the animation stage, so we would have the key animation fixed and then redo the animation.[1]


  1. "The Art of Howl's Moving Castle", p.135