Located inside the grounds of Kyoto’s famous Kiyomizu-dera Temple, the Jishu Shrine is not only the resident shrine of the temple but Kyoto’s oldest and possibly most effective matchmaking shrine. However, Jishu Shrine isn’t solely dedicated to love; there are several other gods worshipped here too. In fact, there’s a saying that goes, “Not a prayer goes unheard at Jishu Shrine.” As a result, Jishu Shrine has become wildly popular with both local Japanese people and foreign tourists alike.
In this article, we’ll be looking at visiting the shrine, the must-see spots and see if there’s any truth to the shrine’s apparent matchmaking powers.
Also, don’t worry if you’ve already found your special someone, this shrine is also for couples and life partners as well.
Below we’ve made a numbered list of the various divine blessing you can receive at the shrine.
Behind the main hall and “stage” of the Kiyomizy-dera Temple, you’ll find the torii shrine gate and stairs to the Jishu Shrine.
In addition to the very noticeable shrine gate, you’ll also see the sign saying 良縁祈願.
As you climb the stairs, you’ll come across a warmly smiling statue of the Japanese god, Okuninushi. Okuninushi is known as a kind god of relationships, among many other things, and is said to have saved the White Hare of Inaba, which stands beside him.
Okuninushi is also the main god that presides over the Jishu Shrine.
After you arrive, the first thing you should do is pray at the main hall. After washing your hands and cleansing yourself, at the beautiful crimson-colored building, you should place a five yen coin into the box, bow twice, clap twice and then say your prayers. When you’re finished, end your prayer with a closing bow.
If you've come to Jishu Shrine in search of relationship help, then the best spot for you may be the "relationship power spot" of the love fortune rock. There are two of these stones inside the shrine grounds, and it's said that if you're able to safely make it from one stone to the next with your eyes closed, all your relationship prayers will be answered.
However, because this shrine is usually quite crowded, you'd be nearly guaranteed to run into someone when doing it normally. So if you can, grab a friend's hand and have them watch out as you make the 10-meter journey between stones.
Standing next to the main hall of the Jishu Shrine is Haraedo-no-Okami, a pure-hearted and warm god who protects against bad luck and evil spirits.
The next divine blessing can be found at the “Happiness Gong.” For this blessing, you will need to ring the gong three times before doing your prayer. During the peak seasons of spring and autumn, the gong can be heard ringing nonstop as people line up to pray.
Ota is the god of longevity and improving in the performing arts. The above photo shows a statue of the god Daikoku, which is meant to be rubbed for good luck. The exact luck or blessing that the statue brings depends on the part rubbed. Some popular spots are his mallet, for good relationships, his head, for success on tests, and his belly, for safe childbirth.
In the very back of the Jishu Shrine is a Jizo guardian deity of children which can be
seen covered in water. By pouring water on the statue before praying, it’s said to bring
good luck and help ease any woes you might have. Also, the statue is accompanied by
four different water scoops, each for different prayers. One for passing tests, another for
good relationships, good luck and finally warding off evil spirits.
Next to the above water covered Jizo is a small shrine known as Okage Myojin.
This shrine is said to grant visitors one, single wish. The shrine has also been used as a place of prayer for the god of women’s protection for many years.
If you head past the area selling lucky charms, you’ll find a shrine dedicated to the god Kurimitsuinari. Kurimitsuinari is adored as the god of prosperous business, safety for one’s family and good luck.
Write your prayers, such as about finding love, on your ema picture plaque and it will be blessed on the first Sunday of the month at the Enmusubi Jishu-matsuri festival.
Give the various ema a look and see if there aren’t any languages that you recognize. Since the Jishu Shrine is so popular with tourists, in recent years many of the ema have been written in not only Japanese but English, Chinese and Korean as well (\1,000/per plaque inc. tax)
The final things we want to showcase are the Jishu Shrine’s famously correct Love Fortunes (\200/per fortune inc. tax). These fortunes are meant to tell you about things from luck and love to marriage proposals. There are seven possible fortunes, and in order from best to worst they are 大吉 (daikichi), 吉 (kichi), 半吉 (hankichi), 小吉 (shokichi), 末吉 (suekichi), 凶 (kyo), and 大凶 (daikyo).
My fortune was kichi! I was so happy!
The meaning of each level of fortune is as follows.
大吉 Daikichi > Very good. Definitely should be taken home.
吉 Kichi > Good. Should be taken home.
半吉 Hankichi > Half good. Can be taken home.
小吉 Shokichi > Not as good. Can be taken home.
末吉 Suekichi > Will get better. Should be strung up.
凶 Kyo > Not good. Should be strung up.
大凶 Daiyo > Terrible. Definitely should be strung up.
Once you’ve finished praying at the shrine, there are several lucky charms that can be brought and taken home. The souvenir shop sells a variety of relationship-related lucky charms, so if you haven’t got one already, this would be the perfect time to get one for yourself.
|Vanessa[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]|