Good things happen to those who wait. A classic catchphrase thrown by anyone who has stumbled upon some of life’s misfortunes. True, indeed. But, what if luck is stuck in traffic or is having a lazy day and has not paid a visit? Are you willing to sit and wait till the apples fall on trees? In Japan, people chase their luck. I meant, literally “chase them” to different temples scattered across the lovely country. Omamori is a lucky charm that are believed to bring luck to anyone who has it.
The omamori is a tiny pouch made of colorful silk cloth that holds a prayer or a message tucked inside. Most omamori is in Japanese however, due to the demands from tourists who want to avail of the souvenir, some temples have English translations written inside the omamori. The major purpose of why Japanese hold these tiny pouches dearly is that it protects them from any harm and it gives them good luck.
Japanese has a few guidelines surrounding the purchase and handling of the omamori. The most common one is that you should know which omamori you need. If the omamori is in Japanese, make sure you have someone who can translate the written message. Once you have the right omamori, it is best if a person wears it, as the effect will be much greater if it is worn. The validity of the omamori is said to be only a year from when it was purchased, therefore you must acquire a new one each year and return the omamori from the temple where you originally bought it. You must never open the omamori, it is said that the charm will lose its power once the pouch is opened.
Being the country’s cultural centerstage, there is nothing more remarkable than acquiring an omamori in Kyoto. There is a vast collection of temples on every corner in Kyoto. Here are some of the temples where you can get them.
錦天満宮 (Nishiki Tenmangu)
4 – minute walk from Shijo Station.
537 Nakano-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
貴船神社 結社 (Yui-no-Yashiro, Kifune Jinja)
30 – minute walk from Kifune-guchi
180 Kuramakibune-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
3 – minute walk from Karasuma-Oike (subway)
248 Donomae, Higashinotoin-dori Rokkaku-nishi hairu, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
八坂神社 (Yasaka Jinja)
5 – minute walk from Gion-Shijo on the Keihan Railway
625 Gion-machi Kitagawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
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