Improve Your Luck at These Seven Kyoto Shrines



Improve Your Luck at These Seven Kyoto Shrines


Kyoto is home to an incredible number of temples and shrines. According to a survey conducted by Kyoto Prefecture in 2015, there are currently around 1,600 temples and 400 shrines in just the city of Kyoto alone. Among that number, there are many shrines and temples that are said to be particularly good at bestowing certain types of blessings or goriyaku (ご利益). In recent years, these temples and shrines have come to be known as “power spots.” If you’re interested in getting a little divine favor during your trip to Kyoto, try stopping by these seven popular power spots. 

Kyoto’s Oldest Love Shrine

Jishu-jinja Shrine is famous for good luck in love

Every day, Jishu Shrine draws many people hoping for some luck with romance and finding a good life partner. While there are several locations within the shrine compound catering to different types of romantic luck, the most popular of them all are the “Love Fortune Telling Stones”-- two stones situated about ten meters apart from each other. 

Jishu-jinja's Love Fortune Telling Stones

It’s said that if you are able to walk safely from one stone to the other with your eyes closed, then your wish for love will be granted. Furthermore, it’s said that if you do this by yourself successfully, then you’ll find your match on your own. However, if you have someone assist you, then you’ll need help finding your true love. 


Jishu-jinja | 地主神社
Address: located inside Kiyomizu-dera Temple
1-317 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Hours: 9:00am~5:00pm
Entrance fee: free (must pay the entrance fee of 400 yen at Kiyomizu-dera to enter the shrine) 
Access: 10 min walk from the Gojozaka bus stop (City Bus)
Website (Japanese only):

Make a Clean Break with Past Relationships

Yasui Konpiragu Shrine in Kyoto

In order to find a good match, you have to cleanly cut ties with any past bad relationships. In Kyoto, the place for this is Yasui Konpiragu Shrine. Inside this shrine, you’ll see a stone monument completely covered with charms called o-fuda. This is called the Enkiri Enmusubi Ishi (縁切り縁結び碑), literally the “severing of connections / tying of connections stone monument.”

The stone monument at Yasui Konpiragu Shrine in Kyoto

It’s said that by crawling through this stone monument from the front while both holding a charm with your wish written on it and keeping your wish in mind, you’ll be able to free yourself from bad luck. Then, if you crawl through the stone from the back, you’ll be able to open yourself up to good luck. Added bonus: this shrine isn’t limited to cutting ties with just bad relationships, but anything you need some help getting over like bad habits. 


Yasui Konpiragu Shrine | 安井金比羅宮
Address: 70 Shimobenten-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Hours: open 24 hours (shrine office from 9:00am~5:30pm)
Entrance fee: free
Access: in front of the Higashiyama-yasui bus stop (City Bus)

Let the Water Be Your Guide

Kifune-jinja Shrine in Kyoto

Another shrine for love and the finding of a life partner, the thing to do at Kifune-jinja Shrine is the mizu uranai mikuji (水占みくじ). When you purchase your omikuji-- a piece of paper on which your fortune is written-- you’ll find that it’s blank. 

Mizu omikuji at Kifune-jinja Shrine in Kyoto

When you put it in the water said to enshrine a water god, your fortune (and valuable insights into your love life!) will appear like magic. The fortunes here are said to be especially accurate. 


Kifune-jinja Shrine | 貴船神社
Address: 180 Kuramakibune-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Hours: 9:00am~4:30pm 
*Hours may change seasonally 
Entrance fee: free
Access: 5 min walk from the Kibune bus stop (Kyoto Bus)
Website (Japanese only):

"Mirror, Mirror on the Wall..."

Kawai-jinja Shrine in Kyoto

If you want to make sure that you always look your best, head to Kawai-jinja Shrine. Here you’ll find unique ema (絵馬)-- small wooden plaques on which one writes a prayer or wish-- in the shape of hand mirrors. On these mirrors, eyes, a mouth, and the outline of a nose are drawn. You personalize this face with colored pencils or crayons, focusing on the areas in particular that you’d like to improve. It’s said that doing so will make you more attractive.

Mirror-shaped ema at Kawai-jinja in Kyoto

Inside the shrine, you’ll find rows of these mirror ema that have been personalized by their owners. 
Karin water at Kawai-jinja Shrine in Kyoto

This shrine also sells a drink made with water and karin (Chinese quince) which is said to help improve skin quality. 


Kawai-jinja Shrine | 河合神社
Address: located inside Shimogamo-jinja Shrine
59 Shimogamoizumigawa-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Hours: 9:00am~5:00pm
Entrance fee: free 
Access: in front of the Shimogamo-jinja-mae bus stop (City Bus) 

When You Need to Ace that Exam

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto

While you’ll find Kitano Tenmangu Shrine full of beautiful plum blossoms in the spring and brilliant foliage in the fall, this place is crowded with students come time for school entrance exams. That’s because this shrine is dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane, a prominent scholar, poet, and politician who lived during the Heian Period. This historical figure is associated with Tenjin, the god of learning. It's said that this shrine is good for granting wishes for academic success.
Statue of a cow inside Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto

While you’re here, you’ll see some statues of cows. These cows are considered the messengers of Michizane, who was born in the year of the cow according to the Chinese zodiac. It’s said you can get good luck by giving the cows a pat! 


Kitano Tenmangu | 北野天満宮
Address: Bakuro-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
April thru September 5:00am~6:00pm
October thru March 5:30am~5:30pm
Entrance fee: free 
Access: in front of the Kitano Tenmangu-mae bus stop (City Bus)

A Shrine to Keep the Money Rolling In

Mikane-jinja Shrine in Kyoto

When you’re eager to see your business thrive or need a little help getting that big promotion, then it’s Mikane-jinja Shrine that you want. This temple isn’t exclusively dedicated to money, though. Rather, it’s dedicated to all things made of metal whether gold, silver, or bronze. So what do you need to do here to keep the profits coming in? After you’ve washed your hands in the temizuya (the name for the fountain located close to the entrance of shrines and temples), put some money-- both coins or bills will work-- into one of the sieves nearby and run it under the water to purify it. (Some people even do this for lottery tickets as well.)

Washing of money at Mikane-jinja Shrine in Kyoto

After the money has been purified, keep it on you as a good luck charm. Or, you can offer the money with a prayer at the shrine. Either way, it’s said that you’ll receive the blessing of this shrine! 


Mikane-jinja Shrine | 御金神社
Address: 614 Oshinishinotoin-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 
Hours: open 24 hours (shrine office from 10:00am~6:00pm) 
Entrance fee: free
Access: 5 min walk from Karasuma Oike Station (Subway Karasuma and Tozai Lines) 

A Shrine that “Rocks”

Kurumazaki-jinja Shrine in Kyoto

Kurumazaki-jinja Shrine offers a unique good luck charm: stones called kinen shinseki. It’s said that if you carry this stone with you every day, your prayers for wealth or finding a good romantic match will come true. After your wish has come true, it’s customary to find a new stone, write a message of thanks on it, and return it to the shrine along with your kinen shinseki. Does it work? We’ll let you decide that for yourself, but we should point out that there is a mountain of returned kinen shinseki and “thank-you stones” inside the shrine. 

Kinen Shinseki at Kurumazaki-jinja Shrine in Kyoto

Also inside Kurumazaki-jinja is Geino-jinja Shrine, literally the “performing arts shrine.” As it’s said that the god of performing and fine arts is enshrined here, this shrine is extremely popular with a variety of entertainers. You can see a fence around the shrine made from more than 2,000 o-fuda bearing the names of famous entertainers such as the singer Atsushi from the popular band EXILE. Geino-jinja or the performing arts shrine in Kyoto


Kurumazaki-jinja Shrine | 車折神社
Address: 23 Saga Asahi-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Hours: 9:00am~5:00pm 
Entrance fee: free 
Access: in front of Kurumazaki-jinja Station (Keifuku Electric Railroad’s Randen Line) 
Website (Japanese only):

Do you have a favorite shrine to go to in Kyoto when you're in need of a little luck? Let us know in the comments!

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