Japan has a lot to offer to both local and foreign visitors. From number of prefectures, foods, drinks, sight-seeing, temples and a lot more. But what caught my attention are what they called as “Love Shrines”.
When I visited Japan, I had no idea of such thing. I had a little research and decided to follow my impulsive mind to do anything that comes on my way.
Luckily, I had a friend with me on our Japan journey. Knowing that I’d love to visit every possible temples, we did visit the shrines that comes along our way without damaging our actual itinerary. Little that we know, some of these temples were dedicated for love – to find love, to pray for love, any kind of love.
Love Shrines in Kyoto we were lucky enough to visit:
Yasaka Shrine (Gion, Kyoto)
Yasaka Shrine or also known as “Gion-san” is one of the famous shrines in Kyoto located at the Gion District.
Based on the legends, if you want to find your true love, offering your prayers will be answered. Believed on the story of the married gods, Susanoo-no-Mikoto and Kushinadahime-no-Mikoto – the shrine became a spiritual love spot. While if you are on a happy relationship, you can visit the small shrine known as Okuninushisha to pray for a strong romantic relationship.
There is also a beauty water at Utsukushi-gozen Shrine at Yasaka Shrine wherein everyone who drinks its water can have a white, soft and beautiful skin. Sadly, when we visited Yasaka Shine, it was in the evening and we weren’t able to take a gulp.
How to Get to Yasaka Shrine
Address: 625, Gionmachikitagawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 605-0073
Nearest Station: Gionshijo Station (Keihan Line) – 5 minutes on foot
Direction: Via Bus or Subway
Subway: You may take the Karasu Line going to Kokusaikaikan. Then, transfer at Shijo and go to Keihan Karasuma Station to take a ride going to Kawaramachi Station. Ticket is around 360 yen. From Kawaramachi, you can walk from there going directly to Yasaka Shrine.
Bus: Take the Kyoto City Bus #206 and get off at Gion where the bus stops right in front of the Yasaka Shrine. One way ticket costs 230 yen.
Nonomiya Shrine (Arashiyama, Kyoto)
Bamboo Grove is not the only tourist attraction to visit at Arashiyama. There is a Nonomiya Shrine which is also known as the shrine for Amaterasu or the Goddess of the Sun.
Nonomiya Shrine is said to have answered prayers for happy relationships and marriage. There is a unique turtle shaped rock, know as Kameishi which is believed to make your wish come true within a year. Touch this rock while saying your love wishes.
Do you wanna wish for your happy ending? Pick up an “ema” or the wooden plaque (price varies, but you can get it for at least 1000yen) and write down your prayers for a happy romance at the back of the wood as well as your name or initials and date of visit in it. After writing, hand your wish at the ’ema kakedokoro’ or the place for hanging plaques and say a little prayer about it.
How to Get to Nonomiya Shrine
Address: 1, Saganonomiyacho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 616-8315
Nearest Station: Arisugawa Station (Keifuku Dentetsu-arashiyama Line) – 2 minutes on foot
Direction: Via Bus or Subway
Subway: From Keifuku Dentetsu Arashiyama Line take Arashiyama Station. From this station, walk 5 minutes to Tenryū-ji. Or, Get to Hankyū Line and stop at Arashiyama Station. From this station, walk 15 minutes to Tenryū-ji.
Bus: If you are taking the City Bus take Route 11, 28, or 93 and get down at Arashiyama Tenryū-ji-mae Bus Stop. Or, if you are taking the Kyoto Bus, take 61, 72, or 83 and get down at Arashiyama Tenryū-ji-mae Bus Stop.
Kiyomizu-dera (Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto)
Kiyomizu-dera is one of my favorite temples in Kyoto for personal reasons. My experience on this temple is so memorable and fun. I trusted the place and myself at the same time. It was worth all the walking that we had. Also, there is a shrine in this temple named as the Jishu Shrine, dedicated to Okuninushi, a god of love and matchmaking.
“In front of the shrine you will find two love stones, which are 18 meters apart, and lots of couples looking to confirm their love. Legend says that if you can find your way from one stone to the other with your eyes closed (no cheating) you will find true love. If you unfortunately miss the stone then your desire for love will not be fulfilled. If you find the task too challenging, don’t despair, you can have help with someone guiding you to be successful in finding the stone. If you need help to find the stone, this means that you will find love, but a go-between will also be needed for you to find this love as well.” – Taiken Blog
If you think that saying a prayer is not enough, then you can buy a lucky charm to bring home with you.
How to Get to Jishu Shrine (Kiyomizu-dera)
Address: 1-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
Direction: Via Bus
If you are coming from Kyoto Station, take bus number #100 or #206 and get off at Kiyomizu-michi or Gojo-zaka that will take about 20 minutes for 230 yen. From there it is a 15-minute walk up a hill. If you are coming from Shijo-Kawaramachi, take the #207, #80, or #85 bus.
Here’s a quick view at Kiyomuzi-dera:
I can’t remember if I personally wished for something about love and relationship during my visit on these shrines, but I did pray for something worth praying for. And I am still holding onto that prayer to come true.
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Love may come, or not. But it is always worth a try. So, when you visit Kyoto, make sure to spend some time on these shrines because you will not regret every seconds of every minutes you spend on them.
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Til’ my next post!