Do you know about the Jishu Shrine? It is located to the north side of the main hall at the Kiyomizu Temple. The shrine is famous as a shrine of love especially among young people and couples, it is attracting millions of overseas visitors.
Gods of Jishu Shrine
Photo Credit: DavideGorla@flickr
Jishu Shrine is dedicated to five gods. Okuninushi no Mikoto is known as the god of love and matchmaking, his parents Susano no Mikoto, Kushinadahime no Mikoto, and moreover her parents Ashinazuchi no Mikoto and Tenazuchi no Mikoto. Three generations of gods are enshrined at this temple, many young couples come to the temple to pray for a smooth delivery or hope they can get pregnant.
Jishu Shrine is designated a World Heritage Site and there are three national important cultural properties in the precinct, the main hall “Honden”, the hall of worship “Haiden”, and the main gate “Soumon”.
Jishu Shrine was re-constructed in 1633 by Iemitsu Tokugawa, the third shogun of the Tokugawa family. The inside of the shrine buildings are gorgeously colored and you can feel the elegance from the Heian period or the magnificence art from the Momoyama culture. The precinct is not too spacious, it takes a little more than 1 hour to browse all of the buildings of the shrine.
Fortune-telling Love Stones
The most famous thing at this shrine is the “Koiuranai no Ishi” meaning “Love stones” in English. These two stones are placed 18 meters apart in front of the shrine. It is said that you will find true love, if you can find your way from one stone to the other with your eyes closed and without bumping into someone. On the other hand, if you can’t find the way by yourself, your love will not be fulfilled.
But don’t give up before trying! If you don’t think you can make it or you fail to find the way, just get help by your friends or someone. This implies that you need a go-between to find your true love in your real life as well.
Photo Credit: Shukujitsu@flickr
On the first Sunday of every month, there is a festival called “Jishu Matsuri” which starting at 2:00 PM in the precinct. During the festival, you can see the priest reciting a prayer for good matches or good luck and exorcising love stones or Ema. The original charm called “Kaiun-kozuchi” is distributed for free to participants.
Furthermore, seasonal festivals are held regularly except in March and August. For example, Sakura Matsuri or “Cherry-blossom Festival” in April, Tanabata Matsuri “Star Festival” in July, Momiji Matsuri “Red-leaves Festival” in November and so on. No reservation is needed to attend these festivals, so please feel free to stop by if you have time.
Many kinds of “Omamori” meaning charms in Japanese are sold at the Jishu Shrine. There are charms for not only love-matching or safe childbirth but also for academic development or safety traveling. The most famous ones are “Shiawase” (Good Marriage) and “Futari no Ai” (Deepen Relationship). “Shiawase” comes in 2 colors, red and blue. It is said to bring the best partner and also grant reconciliation and unrequited love. “Futari no Ai” is a pair of red and blue charms. It is believed to deepen relationship by bringing it each of the people.These charms are good souvenirs for yourself and also as a gift for friends or a lover.
Photo Credit: DavideGorla@flickr
Have you heard about “Omikuji” before? Omikuji are Japanese paper fortunes which can be found at Buddhist temples or Shinto shrines. There is a box full of Omikuji, you can draw one from the box for a small fee. Omikuji at Jishu Shrine has English translation on the other side, so you can enjoy it even if you can’t read Japanese. Originally, you have to shake the Omikuji box full of numbered bamboo sticks until one of them fell out. According to the number, you can get Omikuji paper strip by the priest. You can find this traditional type of Omikuji at Sensoji Temple in Tokyo.
[map lat=”34.99516029999999″ lng=”135.7850201″][/map]
Address: 1-317 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyo City, Kyoto Prefecture
Access: 10 minute walk from Kiyomizumichi bus stop (route No. 100, 206 or 207)
Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Website: Jishu Shrine (Japanese)