Walking on Drift Ice
If you’ve visited one of Japan’s many shrines or temples, you’ve almost certainly seen—if not purchased for yourself—the colorful and charming good luck charms known as o-mamori. With amulets seemingly for all purposes (success in love, financial fortune, wards against sickness, and many, many more) they’re perfect adornments for your belongings, your workplace or home.
O-mamori come in all shapes and sizes—but why settle for a mass-produced trinket? At the temple of Ohirasan Konpira-in in Tottori’s Kurayoshi City, a priest will guide you through the process of creating a unique and authentic good luck talisman that is yours and yours alone.
Make a reservation at the temple’s homepage (http://oohirasan-konpirain.com/mail-omamori.html) and show up at the time, and the kind and friendly attendants will first usher you to the main hall. After putting your hands together in prayer, you’ll be taken to an inner room to begin crafting your o-mamori.
You’ll begin by choosing from a wide variety of lucky stones, masterfully crafted by hand and each representing a different wish. From traditional Buddhist glyphs to charming designs featuring soaring birds (a symbol of success) or cute dog footprints (representing dogged persistence), you’re sure to find one that matches your personality and your heartfelt desires.
Next, you’ll select a pouch from a delightful assortment of both traditional and modern designs—all woven by hand at the temple—and a string from a rainbow’s worth of colors. Write your wish on a sheet of paper and insert it into the pouch, tie it up in the traditional fashion, and your own personal good luck charm will be complete, ready to be blessed by a Buddhist monk of the temple while you pray and look on.
After the ceremony is complete, you can relax with a hot cup of matcha (Japanese green tea) and Japanese sweets together with the monk, who will be happy to share his knowledge with you. You’ll leave with your spirit fulfilled and a good luck talisman to treasure for the rest of your life.
From Izumo Airport, take a shuttle bus to JR Matsue Station (about thirty minutes). From there, take a JR San’in Main Line special express train to Kurayoshi Station (about one hour). Ohirasan Konpira-in is located a short eight-minute walk (three minutes by taxi) from Kurayoshi Station.
A reservation is required to make your own o-mamori luck charm. Reservations may be made for any time between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. The experience will last for roughly one hour. Please note that the temple cannot accommodate guests on certain days in December and around the New Year. Please contact the temple for details.
Reservations may be made online at the following URL:
Admission: The price (all-inclusive) varies depending on the material of the pouch you select. (Crepe pouches: 2,000 yen, kimono cloth pouches: 2,500 yen.)
Agei 1-banchi, Kurayoshi, Tottori, 682-0021