In the last article we explored the Japanese trend of visiting “Power Spots,” areas where you can gather invisible energy. Whether you believe in Power Spots or not the act of visiting specific places to gain a certain type of benefit is a long held practice in Japan. Temples, shrines and hot springs are the most commonly visited. Natural areas are usually associated with one of them and are where visitors focus their prayers when venturing out into rural Japan.
Much of what people ask for are physical rewards. While I’m not sure praying for wealth is the best use of your time, there are thousands of places all over Japan that cater to physical and spiritual improvements. If you are heading to Japan and you have issues with health, love, and money, need to pass an exam, could use a bit of healing, or just want to get rid of some evil, you might as well try out these spots and see if they really work. Feel free to let us know what happens
These are all well established areas which specialize in helping with a variety of subjects. Well, maybe help is not the right word, but they allow you to wish on their property…usually for free. While most of the shrines or temples are popular in their own areas, I have tried to pick non-mainstream spots so you don’t have to suffer through a bland recommendation of Mt. Fuji or the temples in Nara. If they don’t work and you want your money back I suggest visiting the Money Power Spots.
There are many more in Japan and these are but a few examples. Whether they actually work or not, they are worth the visit for their cultural and architectural beauty alone.
Ikuta Jinja (shrine) in Kobe is the place to be if you are looking to find love. It is also one of the oldest Shrines in Japan at just shy of 2000 years. The Japanese seem to have love on their minds and one Power Spot book I looked at had double the number of Love spots than any other category. The Kami (god) for art was enshrined here in 201 leading to the popularity of the shrine. Write your love wish on the heart shaped ema (wishing boards) and pray for ti to be fulfilled as the god of Art seems to take a romantic view to his duties.
Bungui Toge (pass) in Nagano Prefecture is a patch of forest known for its healing energy. A Chinese “energy specialist” found this place in 1995 and it appears it does not having a magnetic field allowing energy to flow freer here than other places on earth. The lack of magnetic interference has visitors reporting positive effects on their mental and physical health. Of course this could also be from hiking into the words and sitting quietly in the clean air! In fact its is so special there are no pictures of it…
Shikoku may seem like an odd place to find money as it is the least developed of Japan’s four main islands. But the gigantic sand coin Zenigata Sunae in Kagawa Prefecture has been dishing out money luck since 1633.
It is said the sand sculpture will make you happy and bring you wealth just by looking at it. The local people created it in 1633 when Ikoma Takatoshi, who belonged to the Marugame group, came to visit. Just by looking at it you will have good health, live long and won’t have any problems with money. Sounds like a good deal to me.
Kuki Jinja (literally Air Shrine) in Yamagata Prefecture is a bit out of the way, and a bit off the crazy mysticism chart, but maybe it has to do with the clean air going to the priests’ heads.
The shrine was established to thank Air. There is no actual shrine here. Instead you are supposed to walk through a monument keeping the image of the five elements that make up the universe, water, fire, earth, wood, and gold in your mind. If you do this then the air shrine will appear to you. There is no gate or roof but a mirrored panel resting on the ground surrounded by woods, and which reflects the sky, trees and people. To pray you bow twice, clap four times and the repeat the seasons (winter, summer, spring, and autumn) in your mind while making specific hand gestures while thanking air and nature.
Work and Study
Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto would be one of my top suggestions whether you want to pass a test or not. Thousands of red tori gates create a confusing maze through the paths of this hillside that contains over 30,000 shrines. Stay into the evening and you are guaranteed to find a bit of spirituality as you get lost amongst the fox gods. If you are looking to pass a test or do better at work don’t forget to throw some coins in front of the many shrines.
If you are on an emergency visit to Japan to get rid of some evil your best bet is the enormous Narita San, Shinsho-ji temple just a short train ride from the Narita Airport. Founded in 940 by Kanchō Daisōjō, a disciple of the famous Kobo Daishi, and is dedicated to Fudomyoo, a deity of the fire, who is believed to drive out evil spirits. Just be careful, the temple attracts over 10 million visitors a year, that’s a lot of evil floating around waiting to be expelled.
Getting there and Away
All of these spots are spread out all over Japan. If you are serious about visiting them first find flights to Japan. After that your best bet is to buy a Japan Rail Pass that will allow you to ride the bullet trains for a set period of time allowing your zip around the country in no time. The pass also lets you ride on local trains (then only kinds that reach these remotes areas).
What do you think? Is it better to find love at the temple or the bar?