The best shrine to pray for love! 5 things you need to know before visiting Izumo Taisha

The best shrine to pray for love! 5 things you need to know before visiting Izumo Taisha
| 5 min read

Izumo Taisha shrine in Shimane prefecture is known as the “king of love prayers”. People pray there not only for love, but for various other types of good luck. I will introduce here the proper ways to visit Izumo Taisha and some other details that are not widely known. Knowing those in advance, your trip to the shrine will be more pleasant. After the latest renovation, the deities moved back to the main building and prayers are also believed to be more effective. If your heart has been hurt by an unfortunate love, this shrine is the best place to heal it and pray for new love!

Hint 1: The approach to Izumo Taisha can be surprisingly fun

the best shrine to pray for love! 5 things you need to know before visiting izumo taisha | hint 1: the approach to izumo taisha can be surprisingly fun

First, let me explain how to get to Izumo Taisha. Take a bus to Izumo Taisha from JR Izumoshi station and get off at “Seimon-mae” bus stop. If you get off at the next stop “Izumo Taisha”, you will miss the first big torii gates and the street leading to the shrine, so be careful.

The shrine is a five minute walk from Ichibata Railway’s Izumo Taisha station. There is a free parking lot next to the shrine for people coming with cars (about 300 car spaces). You can enter as early as 6:00, so a morning visit is doable too.

Next, let’s see the torii gates at Izumo Taisha. There are actually 4 of them. Each of them is made of a different material: the first from stone, the second from wood, the third are metal, and the fourth are bronze. It’s almost as if the gates represent the nature’s blessings. On the photo you see the wooden second gates. Torii gates are the entrance for the gods. Bow before passing them, as you will be entering a spiritual world of generosity and grace.

The approach to the shrine can be surprisingly fun! On the way to Izumo Taisha there is an old hot spring Japanese inn called “Takenoya”. In fact, that’s the house where popular singer Mariya Takeuchi grew up. And it’s interesting that there is a Japanese inn right in front of Izumo Taisha. The shrine and Inasa beach often appear in the lyrics of Takeuchi’s songs. Her fans should definitely check Takenoya inn.

Hint 2: How to pray at Izumo Taisha?

the best shrine to pray for love! 5 things you need to know before visiting izumo taisha | hint 2: how to pray at izumo taisha?

After the second torii gates, there is a little slope going down to Izumo Taisha. Most shrines are accessed by climbing, but Izumo Taisha is unique in Japan with the fact that you have to descend to reach it. You will feel drawn towards the shrine as you proceed with every step forward. On the way to the shrine, you will first see Harae no Yashiro, a small shrine to your right side. This is the place to purify your soul from sins and evil, so you have to make sure you cleanse your spirit before proceeding further. The correct way to pray at Izumo Taisha is “2 bows, 4 claps, 1 bow”. Continue down the pine road and wash your hands at the place for ritual cleansing. Then proceed to the Worship Hall (on the photo) and the Main Hall. The Worship Hall is the place where the main Shinto deity Okuninushi no Okami is worshipped during the renovation of the Main Hall. Pay attention to the three pink circular spots on the ground. In the ancient times Izumo Taisha was actually standing on 48-meter high pillars. The pink spots are the traces of the old pillars. They remain as a proof of the significance of this shrine.

The main deity enshrined at Izumo Taisha is Okuninushi no Omikami. Please absorb the gracious aura and the love power of this shrine.

Hint 3: A hidden energy spot at Izumo Taisha! Soga no Yashiro is behind the Main Hall

the best shrine to pray for love! 5 things you need to know before visiting izumo taisha | hint 3: a hidden energy spot at izumo taisha! soga no yashiro is behind the main hall

The shrine Soga no Yashiro is located behind the Main Hall and enshrines Okuninushi no Okami’s parent Susanoo Onomikoto. It is a real hidden energy spot! If you take some of Soga no Yashiro’s sand with you and place it around your house, it will protect your home.

Behind Soga no Yashiro shrine is Mt. Yakumo. The mountain is said to be a deity itself, therefore you can feel a very strong energy there. People with good sensibility will feel the powerful aura.

This author visited Soga no Yashiro on December 15, 2013, when it was under repair. The renovation will continue until the end of 2014. The deity enshrined has been moved to Kama no Yashiro shrine, east of Izumo Taisha, so you can visit that one as well.

Hint 4: It's not only the sacred straw rope! Things to see at Kaguraden

the best shrine to pray for love! 5 things you need to know before visiting izumo taisha | hint 4: it's not only the sacred straw rope! things to see at kaguraden

Kaguraden is the building in Izumo Taisha famous for the giant sacred straw rope (ooshimenawa). The rope is so thick that no person can embrace it with two arms! It is replaced with a new one regularly. Several dozen old people from Tonbaru village of Iinancho town, Shimane, create the ropes themselves.

The written sign inside Kaguraden is not made with ink, but it’s in fact embroidery! You will see the cross-stich style if you look closely. There is also a stained glass with pictures of clouds in the shape of Izumo Taisha. Many interesting things can be found at Kaguraden, so be sure to see all of them. There are more interesting things around. You can stay all night and welcome the sunrise at Kaguraden every year at Setsubun day of the old lunar calendar. There is a festival held from 1:00 AM and you can win valuable prizes like statues of Okuninushi no Okami or TV sets during a special lottery! Your one chance per year to stay at Kaguraden and win big prizes.

Hint 5: Once every 60 years! The amulet celebrating the shrine's renovation

hint 5: once every 60 years! the amulet celebrating the shrine's renovation

During what was called “Heisei renovation”, Izumo Taisha’s roof was rethatched for the first time in 60 years. Pieces of the hinoki cypress trees which used to support the shrine for 60 years have been turned into amulets. Do you know that they can bring you love?

On the photo you see one such amulet, containing paper and a piece of the cypress trees used in the shrine before the renovation. You can buy it for 1000 JPY. They will be sold only until 2016 when the entire renovation of Izumo Taisha will be completed. It is worth visiting the shrine during that period and buying a special amulet for love.

The deity of Izumo Taisha brings luck and love

The deity of Izumo Taisha is well known for its grace depicted in the legend of the Hare of Inaba, who got attacked by a shark and saved by the gods. Therefore the deity is believed to bring good luck in various forms: love in relationships, children, success at work, money.

Don’t you want to receive some divine blessing now? Then go and visit Izumo Taisha shrine! Extra information about Izumo Taisha: If you visit also Miho shrine at Shimane prefecture’s Mihonoseki town, it is believed that your wish from Izumo Taisha will be more effective. Check the link in the memo below to learn more about visiting Miho shrine.

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