Yasaka Jinja Shrine in Kyoto

Maybe it was the disorientation of being in a new city but the first full day in Kyoto was full of adventures where we weren’t quite sure what we were looking at. But we were just going for it and exploring. And then realizing afterwards that it was what we were meant to be looking for anyways. In this case, we came upon the Yasaka Jinja Shrine as we were checking out the Gion area. And it was so bright and orange that we decided to go in. The shrine was definitely on our list of things to see but we didn’t realize that it was Yasaka Jinja until much later that night.

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I’m not quite sure what this little shrine was for but it seems that there are hundreds of little shrines in the city. All with their own purpose and the Japanese seems to know their way around – where to send their prayers and blessings.

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The girls who work at the shrines wear their long hair tied down their back. And have the white and red shrine clothing. It reminded me of Sailor Mars from Sailor Moon. I was quite excited about that actually.

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We came across many people sending their prayers and wishes here. And we decided to observe and partake as well. What we could figure out: you toss your coin in behind the wooden fence, bow twice, make your wish, clap twice, and then bow one more time.

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I also witnessed a Japanese man giving a tour to his English friend and teaching him how to make his wish properly.

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When you’re at the shrine, you can also get a fortune. The little piece of paper tells you about your fortune. You are supposed to take the good fortune with you but if you receive a bad fortune, you tie it to the rope here and leave it behind at the shrine.

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Shrines and temples are abundant in Kyoto. It’s quite hard to miss this one if you’re in Gion. Be sure to visit and make a wish while you’re there.

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