Translated byLester Somera
Just a Kansai guy trying to get by
Conveniently located in Kobe's heart, Ikuta Shrine houses the god of connections, and is a popular spot for visitors looking for divine relationship assistance.
Ikuta Shrine in Kobe is an over 1800 year old shrine, and venerates the goddess Wakahirume-no-Mikoto. While Kobe is strongly associated with European-style architecture and ports, it is actually dotted with many different historic shrines.
It is said that the name of the Kobe region is derived from “Kanbe,” which is what families who protected the shrines were called. Furthermore, the secret behind Ikuta Shrine’s enduring popularity is its association with the goddess of making connections. Wakahirume-no-Mikoto is the goddess of fabric, so in the same way that two threads are entwined together, she is worshiped for bringing people together. It is a power spot for love and relationships.
We’ll go through five of the things that make Ikuta Shrine a restorative place of worship for Kobe’s residents.
Ikuta Shrine is conveniently located just 10 minutes from Sannomiya Station on all lines making it a lively and convenient place. As you can see in the photo, the shopping district is right down the road. Thinking about it from a historical perspective, people would gather and put down roots around the shrine, which is exactly how the district came to be.
There are torii gates at the shrine entrance. Pass under the second torii gate, then the vermilion-lacquered torii gate. To the right of the vermilion gate, there is a place to wash your hands and purify your body known as the chozu-ya. There is an English sign explaining what to do, so be sure to try it out for yourself.
Pass through the torii gates and you will come to the tower gate. You can receive omikuji and protective charms from the booths on the left and right. Unless you intend to offer a special prayer, typically there is no admission fee for entering the shrine. Worshipers can communicate their thankful thoughts and wishes by throwing a coin into the offertory chest located in front of the main shrine building.
Once you arrive at the splendid main shrine building, flanked by komainu, pay your respects according to tradition and try softly murmuring your prayers in your mind.