Osaka’s Best Shrines of Love and Relationships
Written by: Nene（Nene）
● Osaka’s Shrines of Love and Relationships
สวัสดี! I’m Nene. I’m from Thailand. It’s been 5 years since I came to Japan to go to school. I love Japanese food and culture, and just about everything in this country. Needless to say, I have been enjoying every bit of life in Japan◎
Daiki is my boyfriend of 4+ years. We met here in Japan, and I hope to be with him for a long time. Together we took Osaka Metro to visit Osaka’s shrines that are famous for love-related wishes♪
Many couples visit Universal Studio Japan and Osaka Castle for a date and save the shrines for a more of a sightseeing experience, but shrines actually are a great spot for a date in Japan♪ Young or old, married and unmarried couples as well as individuals who are hoping for a partner or a nice romantic relationship visit these Japanese “power spots”—spiritual places that generate good luck and give you spiritual energy—to get a positive energy for their relationships!
Daiki and I visited three famous shrines of love in Osaka.
● 【Tuyunoten Shrine】 A Sacred Land for Lovers
We first took Osaka Metro’s Tanimachi Line to Higashi-Umeda Station♪
Just a few minutes’ walk from the station is Tuyunoten Shrine, probably the most well-known shrine in Osaka for love and relationships. The 1,300-year-old shrine is the stage of a famous traditional Japanese puppet play called Sonezaki Shinju, the love suicides at Sonezaki!
Dubbed by some as Japan’s Romeo and Juliet, the tragic Sonezaki Shinju Story is based on actual events that happened during the Edo Period (1603-1868) where the protagonist Tokubei and the heroin Ohatsu commit double suicide to pursue true love.
Taking the name of the tragic heroin, locals refer to this shrine as “Ohatsu Tenjin (Shrine)” and many lovers come here to pray for the blessing of the pure love Tokubei and Ohatsu had.
We cleansed our hands at the basin by the gate and walked up to the shrine to pray. It’s solemn here, making me feel a bit proper.
■Learn how to properly offer respects and prayers at a shrine↓
You Can Go in December! Hatsumode – Start the New Year with Osaka Metro
When you visit Tuyunoten Shrine, you’ve got to get this cute, pink heart-shaped ema plaque (700 yen incl. tax) for prayers and wishes♡ It has a design of Tokubei and Ohatsu. I’m sure it holds the power of their love.
We wrote down our wishes on the ema and hang them at the designated place to offer our prayers to deities. When you do this, by the way, make sure the side where you wrote your wish is facing forward—so that the deities can see them.
I took a peak at Daiki’s ema, wondering what he wrote… He wrote the same thing as me! He wished that we’ll be together for a long time! That put a smile on my face.
Among the wide variety of omikuji fortunes offered at Turunoten Shrine, the most popular is a love fortune called Koi-mikuji (200 yen incl. tax). Koi-mikuji at Tuyunoten Shrine is a bit special in that you need to put the omikuji in water to see your fortune. We wanted to see this unique omikuji and went over to where a Shinto priest was behind the window.
There was a cute wooden box decorated with hearts at the counter. We each picked a pink ball out of the box and found a number inside the ball. We told the priest what our number was and in return he gave us our omikuji.
With our love omikuji in our hands, we walked over to a little basin to see our fortune. We cleared our minds and calmly placed the strips of paper in the water and… Voila! Our fortune appeared on the paper! I got Dai-kichi (great luck) and Daiki got Sue-kichi (good luck to come). Yay! We both got positive results!
In addition to Koi-mikuji, other omikuji fortunes written in English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean (100 to 300 yen) were available at Turunoten Shrine. We also found matchmaking amulets (1,200 yen incl. tax) and bought matching amulets in pink and green♪ I think these amulets would make a nice souvenir for your partner or loved ones.
Something I didn’t expect to see at a shrine but found useful at Tuyunoten Shrine were photo spots, all equipped with a stand to hold your cell phone and/or photo props with Tokubei and Ohatsu cut outs. I guess they thought about what couples would enjoy on their dates. It is after all the sacred spot for lovers! I was a little embarrassed, but Daiki and I took lots of photos.
We also found helpful, multilingual signage around the shrine grounds, including my language, Thai!
● 【Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine】 The Fox Power
We hopped on Osaka Metro’s Chuo Line to get to the next shrine. We happened to catch the one with new train cars. It felt more spacious, and I liked the modern, stylish designs♬
It was a quick ride to Morinomiya Station.
Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine is located about a 10-minute walk from Morinomiya or Tamatsukuri Station and about 12 minutes from Osaka Castle Park. The pillars of the main sanctuary hall are painted in vermillion and are bright and beautiful.
With deities including Ukanomitama no Okami and many female deities enshrined, Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine is known for various fortunes related to women such as matchmaking, childbearing, and good health.
A fox themed ema called Fox in Love (800 yen incl. tax) is very popular at Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine. Its design features two foxes coming together in the shape of a heart. It’s really cute.
I didn’t know this but apparently once foxes get together, they don’t change partners and stay together forever. So this ema is ideal for those seeking a lifelong partner, a good relationship, or marital harmony. There’s a space to put both your name and your partner’s name on the back. For those who’re looking for a partner, you can simply put your name down and offer it to deities.
I saw other fox themed designs—in the Fox in Love amulets (800 yen incl. tax) and Fox Happiness talismans (500 yen incl. tax). The two foxes on talismans signify “unexpected fortune”. You can write your wish on the back and keep it in your wallet or purse for the wish to come true.
● 【Kouzu-gu Shrine】 Test Your Compatibility at Aioizaka Hill
A large torii gate stands tall in the middle of a residential area, with a stone paved road behind it leading us to the precincts of the shrine. I imagine the plum trees that line the paved road are beautiful in March.
We had heard that Kouzu-gu Shrine, which is well known as a power spot and for matchmaking wishes, has a hill that can deepen a relationship between two people.
It’s called Aioizaka, also known as a matchmaking hill. It is said this hill brings good luck to a relationship and can deepen the feelings toward each other. Aioizaka consists of two sets of staircases, one on the South side and one on the North side. Couples are to begin climbing the staircases separately but at the same time and if they meet in the center of the landing at the top, that means they are good for each other.
What about Daiki and me?? I’m sure we’d meet right in the center…? We put our relationship to test.
I lost sight of Daiki as I walked down to the bottom of the stairs and that made a me a little nervous.
I walked up slowly, and…! I saw Daiki on the other side! From there, we watched each other closely and walked up together (although separately) and met at the landing at the top. Yay! We’re good!
Aioizaka Hill is not just for couples but for anyone who wishes to deepen a relationship with someone. And if you’re in search of a partner, climb the hill as you pray for a good partner and you shall meet one!
In the back of the shrine grounds are two stones closely sitting right next to each other. They are called Fufu-ishi, literally meaning married couple stones. Gently stroking the two rocks alternately, 3 times each, will bring harmony to your marriage. Fufu-ishi stones are not easy to find—they are almost hidden in the back of the shrine grounds—but look around and you can have wonderful harmony with your spouse!
Kouzu-gu Shrine has a cafe serving zenzai, sweet red bean soup, and other sweets. Sitting across your partner at a cafe with a nice Japanese ambience makes the date complete♪
● Perfect Date Spots in Osaka
After visiting various shrines of love together with Daiki, I feel our bond has grown stronger. I know we will have ups and downs, but I hope we will overcome whatever comes our way and be happy together.
And I hope you and your loved one will visit these power spots in Osaka and get the spiritual energy to strengthen your relationship♪
＜Recommended For You ＞
■Collecting Shrine and Temple Stamps on Osaka Metro
[Access] About 3 mins walk from Higashi-Umeda Station Exit No. 7 on the Tanimachi Line
About 5 mins walk from Umeda Station Exit No. 15 on the Midosuji Line
About 9 mins walk from Nishi-Umeda Station Exit No. 6 on the Yotsubashi Line
[Access] About 10 mins walk from Morinomiya Station Exit No. 2 on the Chuo and Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Lines
About 10 mins walk from Tamatsukuri Station Exit No. 1 on the Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line
[Access] About 5 mins walk from Tanimachi 9-chome Station Exit No. 2 on the Tanimachi and Sennichimae Lines
[Hours] 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (Gate are open 6:00 am - 6:00 pm)
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