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Very Rare! Top 5 Charms From Shrines and Temples in Kyoto and Osaka

Good luck charms (omamori) are a must-buy souvenir from shrines or temples. Their designs range from flowery love charms to haircutting shears! We'll introduce some rare charms exclusively sold in Osaka and Kyoto, including the most difficult charm to get in Japan!
2021.04.12

Commemorate Your Shrine or Temple Visit With a Charm

At shrines and temples in Japan, visitors enjoy the architecture, as well as the cherry blossoms, autumn leaves, and other beautiful seasonal sights. Perhaps you'd like to bring home a unique memento from these spiritual spots, such as a goshuin (ink stamp) or an omamori charm.

In this article, we introduce five unique good luck charms from Kyoto and Osaka selected by our MATCHA editor. Be sure to give this article a read before your next visit to the Kansai region!

1. Mimurotoji Temple, Uji

Very Rare! Top 5 Charms From Shrines and Temples in Kyoto and Osaka

Mimurotoji Temple is in Uji, Kyoto. The temple is a 15-minute walk from Mimurodo Station, on the Keihan Railway.

Very Rare! Top 5 Charms From Shrines and Temples in Kyoto and Osaka

Mimurotoji Temple is famous for its seasonal flowers and plants: azaleas in May, hydrangeas in June, lotus flowers in the summer, and maple trees in autumn.

Very Rare! Top 5 Charms From Shrines and Temples in Kyoto and Osaka

There are as many as 10,000 flowers in the Hydrangea Garden, ranking it among the best hydrangea spots in Japan.

For this reason, Mimurotoji Temple has multiple charms modeled after these bluish-purple flowers. The Heart Hydrangea Charm is their most popular charm, and is said to grant requited love.

Very Rare! Top 5 Charms From Shrines and Temples in Kyoto and Osaka

They also sell charms modeled after different flowers for each month of the year. These make perfect birthday presents!

2. Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine, Kyoto

Very Rare! Top 5 Charms From Shrines and Temples in Kyoto and Osaka

Kyoto's Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine is located inside Nishiki Market, a popular shopping district nicknamed "Kyoto’s Kitchen." Although the shrine itself isn’t large, it is frequented by many visitors.

Kyoto

A standout feature of Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine is their cute amulets, especially the Hello Kitty charm.

Kyoto

They also have other unique charms like the Pet Charm and the Friendship Amulet, to strengthen the bonds within your social circle.

Kyoto

The Shinto god of scholarship, Sugawara no Michizane, is enshrined at Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine. Because Sugawara no Michizane loved plum blossoms, the shrine sells a charm called the Daigan Plum. To make your wish come true, first write it down on a piece of paper. Then place it inside the plum-shaped ball before hanging the charm on a tree branch.

3. Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto

Very Rare! Top 5 Charms From Shrines and Temples in Kyoto and Osaka

Shimogamo Shrine is one of Kyoto’s most popular destinations. It's located about 12 minutes on foot from Demachiyanagi Station along the Keihan Railway. The Kamo River and Takano River flow right past the shrine, which has many beautiful sights around its premises.

Kyoto

Inside Shimogamo Shrine, you’ll find a verdant forest called the Tadasu no Mori ("The Forest of Atonement"). Kamogawa Park is also nearby, making the shrine an ideal place for a stroll.

Kyoto

Shimogamo Shrine has a variety of charms available. In addition to common charms, visitors will find rare amulets resembling komainu—divine lion-dog guardians that sit at the entrances of shrines.

Very Rare! Top 5 Charms From Shrines and Temples in Kyoto and Osaka

The Mitarashi River, located on the shrine grounds, runs high and fast with spring water during certain periods. The shrine has a charm inspired by the bubbles that form during these times. It's also embellished with Japanese wild ginger leaves—Shimogamo Shrine’s crest—to protect against illness.

The bubbles in Mitarashi River are said to have inspired the creation of mitarashi dango, a traditional Japanese dessert.

4. Mikami Shrine, Kyoto

Very Rare! Top 5 Charms From Shrines and Temples in Kyoto and Osaka

Located in Arashiyama, Mikami Shrine is the only shrine in Japan centered around hair. While the shrine is small, it is visited by professionals in the hairdressing and beauty industry, along with people having hair concerns.

Kyoto

Mikami Shrine has several hairdressing and beauty tool-related charms, including the takumi-mamori (Artisan Charm). This charm is made to look like hair-cutting shears.

Kyoto Arashiyama

Their comb charm is called the ogushi-mamori.

There is even a hair mound at Mikami Shrine where various people have dedicated their hair as an offering. This shrine is where many pray for their hairdressing and beauty skills to improve, or their hair to grow more beautifully.

5. Samuhara Shrine, Osaka

Awaza

The ring from Samuhara Shrine in Osaka is famous for being the most difficult charm to obtain in Japan.

Since ancient times, the characters for “samuhara” (check the photo's left side for the official kanji characters) were thought to have mysterious powers to ward off all sorts of misfortune. In the past, Japanese soldiers sent off to war were said to have prayed for their safety by writing the characters for “samuhara” on their belongings.

The ring from Samuhara Shrine is a charm engraved with these four mystical characters on the inside. Each person is only allowed a single ring that fits their ring size. What’s more, reservations are not allowed, and the rings can only be obtained if they are placed on hold at the time of your visit.

Awaza

Even though the ring is hard to get your hands on, visitors can sense the shrine's mystical energy. Why not give the shrine a visit?

Have Fun Visiting Shrines in Japan!

Japan is home to numerous shrines selling unique good luck charms and ema (wooden wishing plaques). When visiting these sacred sites, you'll be sure to find a favorite charm of your own!


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This article was translated from a traditional Chinese article originally published on January 11, 2019.

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.