Nagoya, an important place in Japanese history, has had a number of power spots since ancient times. Here are 5 of those power spots to check out.
1. Seimei Shrine
This is a shrine from the Heian period (794 - 1185) that worships the onmyouji (a specialist in omyoudo, occult divination based on the Taoist theory of the five elements), Abe No Seimei. The people of this area used to be troubled by pit vipers, and Abe No Seimei performed a ritual that banished them, so in return this shrine was built. The grounds are small but refreshing, and there are pentagrams, a symbol to ward off evil in omyoudo drawn everywhere. This shrine is famous to ward off evil and bad luck, and lately it's also been worshipped as a shrine for successful relationships, so it's become popular as a power spot to improve romance. You can buy stickers and amulets, but the temple shop is open only for a limited time, so check before you go.
2. Nagoya Castle
The castle was built as the final step in Tokugawa Ieyasu's plan to unify the entire country, and since then it has been chosen as one of Japan's top 100 castles as well as a designated special national landmark. The symbol of the castle is the gold shachihoko (the mythical creatures that sit on top), and thanks to that and the beautiful appearance and the energy in the huge boulders that make up the rock wall all contribute to making this a popular power spot. The inner citadel is currently under restoration (estimated to be open in 2018), but the murals and decorations are gorgeous and the gorgeous paintings of flowers and birds are worth seeing. You can learn about history while having fun with a variety of available activities, such as taking photographs atop a life-sized shachihoko, experience how the castle was made by pulling rocks, and riding a palanquin. It's lit up at night so the beautiful sight is also recommended.
3. Ueno Tenmangu
Ueno Tenmangu is known as the deity of education, and this shrine was built when the family of Abe No Seimei lived here in the mid-Heian period. They loved Sugawara no Michizane dearly and enshrined him here. This shrine, also called Nagoya Tenjin, is said to be helpful to protect against diseases and disasters as well as to pass all sorts of exams. On the grounds there are plum blossoms, the symbol of the shrine, and two "nadeushi," cow statues that are meant to be touched. It's said that if you rub the heads, you'll become smarter, and if you rub the bodies, your bad parts will get better. Don't forget to rub them! After you pray you can pull the Tenjin Mikuji (300 JPY), fortunes that have the deity on them as a mascot in red, green, and yellow.
4. Shiroyama Hachimangu
This shrine was built on the remains of Suemori Castle, the castle that was ruled by daimyo Oda Nobuhide, the father of Oda Nobunaga. Something that you should definitely see is the ancient tree standing along the side of the shrine road behind the main shrine, which strongly resembles a mountain castle. This tree is called the Rinriboku. It's a rare tree that has a trunk that split and continued to grow separately. It's been considered a lucky omen since ancient times, and it's a sacred tree believed to grant successful relationships and happy marriages. Recently this shrine has become a power spot for people looking for romance, it almost always has plenty of visitors. People who want blessed relationships or want their marriage to be as happy as possible, why not stop by?
5. Toyokuni Shrine
Toyokuni Shrine, which has Toyotomi Hidetoshi enshrined as a deity, sits silently on the grounds of Nakamura Park. Toyotomi Hidetoshi was born as a child of farmers. In serving Oda Nobunaga, he received many promotions until he finally became a very important political figure. He's said to be the most-promoted person in Japanese history. Because of that, this shrine is said to be helpful for promotions, better luck, tea ceremony, construction, and more. For people that want promotions or to pass exams, why not stop by and write your wish on a gourd-shaped votive that you can dedicate? They also sell amulets, so it would be good to give it to someone you love in order to wish for their success.
There are various power spots in Nagoya. There are other ones in the city, so please walk around and look for them.
*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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