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Kyomizu-dera and Jishu-jinja

A party on the steps of Kyomizu-dera.

Kyomisu-dera, is a very endearing Buddhist temple, with a freely accessible and photographable set of altars and a water fall with reputed sacred therapeutic properties. It is a favourite for school parties and groups of tourists enjoying its large halls, rustic buildings and forest clad hillside views.

But the most intriguing thing about it is that it is uniquely associated with the Shinto Jishu shrine in its grounds, which is the shrine of love. The shrine has all manner of good luck charms and oracles including a pair of rocks hopeful lovers try to walk between with their eyes shut to seek their fortunes in love and a shrine to Ogaki-myojn, the guardian deity who answers all prayers especially for ladies, even those who nailed straw dolls to the trees below during 2 am visits to curse their betrayers. Being in the name of love, the temple has a unique air of affection and draws both streams of school children and young women in kimonos out to celebrate the mystery of love's fortune, who are pleased to be photographed and found beautiful in the eye of the beholder.

Entrance steps of Kyomizu-dera

A mother and daughter visiting in kimonos

A school party at Kyomizu-dera.

Jishu-jinja stands just above Kyomizu-dera and has all manner of good luck and love charms and good fortune tests.

Women in kimonos on an outing to Kyomizudera

If you can walk between two stones with your eyes shut you are sure to find true love!

Please write your troubles down on this paper doll and put it in the water nearby.
When it dissolves, your troubles will be cleared up.

Each plaque 'ema' or votive offerings have a prayer and vows of love. Each has a letter to the God for the wishes to be granted which is read by a priest on the first Sunday of every month.

This is the God who will answer the only prayer whatever it is. He is believed fervently asa guardian deity, especially for ladies. The Japanese cedars behind were used for 'Ushinotoki-mairi' or 2am visit which was popular among ladies in the old days. They would nail a straw doll on their cedar as their enemies putting a curse. We can find lots of marks of the nails on the left of the back of the trees even now.

If you pat this bronze statue, your prayer will be answered.

This stone is called "Love fortune telling". If you walk once from this stone to the other with eyes closed, for once, , your wish will be granted soon. If not it will be long before your love will be realized. And it is said taking advice requires you to have someone who will help you achieve your love.

She is trying hard to walk straight, but slightly misses her mark!

Missing the target love rock Jishu jinja

Okunishito-mikoto. A Japanese god who is in charge of love and good matches. The rabbit beside him is a messenger of the god.

The sacred spring and waterfall which is believed to have healing powers.

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