Attract good vibes in style.
Tottori, located in Japan’s Chugoku region, is known as one of the more off-the-map areas of Japan. Its most popular location is probably the Tottori Sand Dunes, A.K.A the largest piles of sand you’ll see this side of Japan.
Today, Tottori is in the spotlight for something a little different though: omamori, or “protection charms.” These are charms that are believed to protect your being in a variety of ways (money, academics, love, pregnancy, etc.), and come in an equally large variety of colors and styles. You can keep charms anywhere, but people most commonly attach them to bags or something they carry with them often. You know, so the good juju stays with you.
Omamori are most commonly available at shrines throughout Japan. Tottori’s Hakuto Jinja Shrine (白兎神社), also known as the “White Rabbit Shrine,” has these adorable rabbit-shaped charms.
▼ I don’t care what you’re protecting me from, just get on my bag!
These charms are for enmusubi (縁結び). Basically, they’re for helping to make and strengthen connections between people, may they be in friendship or love.
In the city of Kurayoshi, you can send your past afloat on an omamori. Utsubuki Park offers an omamori set for 400 yen (about US$3.90) that includes one piece of a special kind of paper called hodoki-kami (はどき紙). You can write your unpleasant past memories onto this piece of paper and set them off on Hagoromo Pond. It’s said that your bad memories will float away and allow you to start anew.
▼ Let’s just forget that ever happened…
If you’re looking for a more unique shrine to visit in Japan, you should definitely pay a visit to the Youkai Shrine in Sakaiminato city.
“Wait, you mean like the Japanese monster kind of youkai?”
That’s right! This shrine is dedicated to Japan’s youkai monsters and spirits.
▼ Oh, uh, hello.
If this looks familiar at all, it’s because the shrine was established in 2000 with the help of Shigeru Mizuki, the manga artist famous for GeGeGe no Kitarō! And what better way to pass the time in Youkai Shrine than by writing your hopes and prayers on ema boards in the shape of some of Mizuki’s beloved characters.
▼ It may be a little difficult to write on
these unusual ema, but at least they’re cute!
These are just a few of the many attractions Tottori has to offer. If you could call this collection anything, maybe it’d be the “Cute Shrines Tour”? See how many of these Tottori gems you can collect!
Address: Tottori-ken, Tottori-shi, Hakuto 603
Admission fee: Free!
Hagoromo Pond in Utsubuki Park
Address: Tottori-ken, Kurayoshi-shi, Nakanocho
Admission fee: Free! (Omamori set is 400 yen)
Address: Tottori-ken, Sakaiminato-shi, Taisho-cho 62-1