Wish Granting Shrines
Posted by Heliocentrism on August 21, 2016
Sunday, June 5th, 2016
As long as it’s special.
The weather was getting nice and Mark and I wanted to go somewhere and take nice photos of Japan. We sat in our living room reading through websites with lists like “Top 10 Must Sees in Hiroshima”. I clicked on one site after another reading through non-sense and getting more and more annoyed by the moment.
Me – Isn’t there one non-shrine related thing left for us to do here?
Mark – Nope.
Me – How many shrines and temples does one country need?
I started a little soliloquy about how much more fun Japan would be for us if they had as many themed parks as they did temples, when Mark cut me off.
Mark – Why not just see a few shrines?
Me – Only if by going to the shrine I get to confront Buddha about all the temples he has.
Mark – I think you’re confusing two different religions.
Me – Am I?
Then Mark picked up his computer and showed it to me. “I think this is what you’re asking for.” He was smiling behind his laptop. I looked at the photo at the top of someone’s blog. “Mark, that’s just a round rock.”
“No. Not just a round rock,” he said taking back his computer. “It’s the roundest rock and it has magical wish granting powers.” “What on earth would I wish for?” I asked scrolling through the website I was previously looking at on my own laptop. “Better tourist attractions for us to visit,” he replied.
On Sunday morning we got into the car and Mark typed the destination into the Garmin. “Wish city here we come,” I exclaimed. “First,” Mark said waving his index finger in the air, “we must make a stop at another wish granting shrine.” “Two wish granting shrines in one day!” I was amazed.
Our first stop would be at Yaegaki Shrine. Many singles go to this shrine to look for help in finding love. Mark and I have been married for sometime now, so we’ve both already been pretty lucky in love. But, we could always ask for more.
At Yaegaki, down a path behind the main shrine is a pond. It’s called Mirror Pond and it has oracle-like powers. It cannot tell you who you should marry or even who you should ask out on a date. All it can do is give you a vague idea of how long your wait for love will be.
A single person should buy a special paper from the shrine in front and take the paper to the pond. Get a coin and place it on the paper. I think most people use a 100 Yen coin. Then float the paper, with the coin on it, in the water. The longer the paper floats before sinking, the longer your wait for love will be.
Exactly how long of a wait, I don’t know. There was no mathematical formula given, like for every minute afloat you’ll have a year of waiting. Some papers sank quickly, others sank after awhile.
Then there were some papers that would not sink. Once the paper got damp enough, the coin just fell through. The paper on its own will float for a very long time. The weight of the coin is what drags it down to the bottom of the pond. If the coin breaks through, the paper will not sink.
Next, we drove to Tamtsukuriyu Shrine. Here we could wish for anything, not just things related to love. I paid for a small wish charm and was given an instruction booklet. Of course, it was in Japanese, but it did have lots of pictures. There was also a lady who got there right before Mark and I did, so I just followed her lead.
It was a bit of a process. There were about 6 steps to it. Mark and I would look at our booklet and then at what the lady was doing. She went from the washing area, to the shrine, then to the round rock and back to the shrine. Mark and I followed her as closely as we could while still being completely respectful.
In the end we took home a little charm, but I’m not sure what I am supposed to do with it. Do I continue to wish on it? Would it be wrong for me to make a bracelet with it?
The street the Tamatsukuriyu Shrine is on, is a wonderfully charming street. It’s a street of beauty. I don’t mean that the street is beautiful, though it is. I mean, the water that flows down the middle of this street is believed to have magical beautifying properties. Along the street there are unmanned stands where you can buy spray bottles of the water to take home. Just squirt it on your face to look years younger. If you want to spend more money, you can buy expensive skin care products made from the water.
The whole street is lined with things that give you luck, like the many expensive luck beads you buy in the shops, or beauty, like Seiganji Temple with the Oshiroi Jizo that heals skin and makes one prettier. There are also many onsens, cafes, restaurants, and shops that give the place a very “treat-y0-self” feel.
For people like Mark and me, people on a budget, there are many free foot onsens. Unfortunately, the water is 2 degree short of boiling. Maybe it would be more fun in the winter.
How to get there:
You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.
Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.
- Emergency Numbers:
- Police 110
- Ambulance and Fire 119
- Important phone numbers to know while in Japan
- Comfort Woman
- The Commoner
- Empire of the Sun
- Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
- Geisha, a Life
- Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II’s Most Dramatic Mission
- The Last Concubine
- Memoirs of a Geisha
- Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath
- Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
- Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan. Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
- International ATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your bank to ask what ATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
- ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
- The Post Office bank seems to work with the most international cards.
- You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan; I’ve never been a tourist here.)
- Coordinates 35°27’49.9″N 133°03’51.1″E
〒690-0846 Shimane Prefecture, Matsue, 末次町８６
- City Hall 0852-55-5555
- Matsue Enmusubi Perfect Ticket
- Matsue Guide Book
- Matsue Map
- Matsue Castle area (PDF)
- JR Matsue Station area (PDF)
- Tamatsukuri Hot Springs area (PDF)
- Shimane Pamphet
- 〒690-0035 島根県松江市佐草町227
- 227 Sakusacho, Matsue, Shimane Prefecture 690-0035
- tel 0852-21-1148
- fax 0852-22-9156
- 200 Yen, but no one will collect it.
- 100 Yen – Special Fortune paper
- Free Parking
- 9:00 – 17:00
- Take the Special Fortune paper to the Mirror pond. Put a coin on it and set it afloat in the water. The time it takes to sink is related to the time it will take for you to find your true love.
- Coordinates 35°24’49.4″N 133°00’42.2″E
- 522 Tamayucho Tamatsukuri, Matsue, Shimane Prefecture 699-0201
- 玉作湯神社 松江市玉湯町玉造522 〒699-0201
- Free Parking
- 24 hours