Have you wanted to cross paths with an amazing, new love interest? Do you yearn for your crush to return your feelings? Are you endlessly hoping for an exciting love story to blossom in your life? In this kind of situation, one thing you can do is to visit a deity to lend you a hand in finding a suitable love candidate. Here are some recommended shrines and temples in the Kansai region that will help you get some good luck in your love life.
1. Yasaka Shrine (Kyoto)
Yasaka Shrine sits on the east end of Shijo-dori, one of the main streets in Kyoto. The shrine has a history that dates all the way back to 656. It's a popular spot to pray for love as Okuninushi Shrine, in which the deity Okuninushi-no-mikoto is enshrined, is located here. Okuninushi-no-mikoto is believed to be the deity of romantic encounters as it is said that once a year, he holds meetings to bless relationships between men and women. The shrine sells a good luck charm in the shape of a rabbit, which is associated with an ancient Japanese legend in which Okuninushi-no-mikoto and a white rabbit appear, and you can also pray for good luck in your love life here.
On the east side of the main shrine, you can find a shrine called Utsukushi Gozensha. It's said that if you apply 2-3 drops of the "beauty water" at this shrine to your skin, you'll not only have beautiful skin, but your heart will become even more beautiful too, so many geisha and maiko come to visit. Why not stop by to beautify yourself both inside and out, as well as possibly find yourself a lover?
2. Matsunoo Taisha Shrine (Kyoto)
Alongside Kamigamo Shrine and Shimogamo Shrine, Matsunoo Taisha is among Kyoto's oldest shrines. The water from the spring within its grounds is famous, and has gained a following for enshrining the deity of sake (Japanese rice wine). Next to the main shrine is a pair of 350-year-old intertwined pine trees that mark the "enmusubi" (marriage) spot. The conjoined tree, with its large stump that brings together two trees, is believed to be a symbol of marital union and romantic fulfillment. There are also many other spots that might help in speeding up things in your love life, like the statues of a turtle and a pair of goldfish, modeled after the deity's servants, that you can rub for good luck, and the miracle water from the turtle well, which is said to make you younger after you drink from it.
3. Ikuta Shrine (Hyogo)
Ikuta Shrine is located a 10-minute walk away from Sannomiya Station, a central point for sightseeing in Kobe. Dating back as far as 201, it's a famous shrine with a long history. Wakahirume-no-mikoto, the deity of weaving, is also believed to be an enmusubi deity due to the connection that, like weaving together pieces of thread, she can connect people together for a good partnership. Make sure to stop by the mysterious grove to the north of the shrine grounds for the water omikuji (paper fortune) to see your luck in love for the year. It's a very fascinating omikuji that shows your fortune once you soak it in the water of the pond in the forest. Inside the forest, there are other sights such as the sacred cedar tree, which is rumored to grant your wishes if you make a prayer to find love under the tree. It is said that it's even more effective if you wear an enmusubi bracelet sewed with thread (called "tamaki") and touch the tree with the hand that has the bracelet on while praying.
4. Shitennoji Temple (Osaka)
Shitennoji Temple is the first nation-sponsored Buddhist temple, and it was built over 1400 years ago by Prince Shotoku, a historical figure who contributed to the law development and the rise of Buddhism. The temple has an exceptional layout, with a distinctive corridor that surrounds the Chumon (Middle Gate), Gojunotou (Five-Story Pagoda), Kondo (Main Hall), and the Lecture Hall, which are all lined up in a straight line. Outside the walls of the corridor, many temples and shrines are scattered throughout. Among those structures is Hoteido, which enshrines the wet-nurse of Prince Shotoku, and is a spot known for having miraculous spiritual virtues in regards to easy childbirth and marriage. Worshipped as a place that blesses mothers with a healthy supply of breast milk since long ago, it is still a popular destination with many visitors even to this day. You can write your love prayers on a cute, heart-shaped, pink plaque, which will make you feel happy just writing on it!
5. Kasugataisha Shrine (Nara)
Kasugataisha Shrine finds its beginnings roughly 1300 years ago, when a deity arrived in the holy sanctuary of Mt. Mikasa. It's a famous shrine that has also been designated as a World Heritage Site. There's a subsidiary shrine here called Meoto Daikokusha, which is the only shrine in all of Japan that is dedicated to wedded deities. It's said to have divine virtues for matrimonial happiness and finding a suitable marriage candidate, which comes from the myth of Okuninushi-no-mikoto and Suserihime-no-mikoto and the difficult challenges and struggles they had to overcome in their relationship. This only proved to further strengthen their relationship, so it's believed that there is no wish that won't come true here.
There's a belief that if you write your wishes on the pink and white heart-shaped wooden plaques or a rice scoop, which was a belonging of Suserihime-no-mikoto, your wish will come true, so if you're having love troubles, make a trip over to this shrine!
There are various ways to receive blessings for love depending on the shrine or temple. If you have a place you're interested in, be sure to visit and get a lucky boost in your love life while you're at it!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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