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What Is a Temple: Three Shrines of Love in Japan!

Anna Ayvazyan

Anna Ayvazyan


What is a temple of love? It is a bunch of beige, heart-shaped ema boards to write your wishes, just like this picture.

What is a temple of love? Are you having trouble finding love? Or are you wanting to find a way to make your relationship more secure? Then you should visit the various shrines of love in Japan!

Shrines of love and matchmaking are best for people who want help finding good connections with friends or future partners. They are for people wanting more luck and security in their present relationship. These shrines can also help with building more positive relationships with coworkers at your workplace.

Many Shinto shrines have unique “power spots” where you can receive positive power from the kami-sama (God). According to legend, you can activate this power if you stand or touch something. Buying amulets or tablets is also a good idea when you visit a shrine. These amulets and tablets have unique designs which can bring home further luck in current and future love. 

What is a Temple of Love: Hikawa Shrine in Kawagoe City (Saitama Prefecture)

This shrine is recently ranked #1 in the top shrines of love to visit in 2023. Many women all over Japan come to visit this shrine because it is very well known for granting love wishes. Additionally, the shrine is in Kawagoe, a city northwest of Tokyo, and is approximately 1500 years old. 

Exterior of Hikawa Shrine . It's orange and white. What is a temple of love.
Hikawa Shrine is in Saitama City, Saitama. Image via Shutterstock

This shrine has five enshrined deities: Susanoo no Mikoto, Kushinadahime no Mikoto, Ashinazuchi no Mikoto, Tenazuchi no Mikoto, and Oonamuchi no Mikoto. Two sets of these deities are married; historically, many people came to worship these deities for matchmaking, happiness for the family, and marital happiness. 

Hikawa Shrine has small shrines and holy trees where you can get blessed. At the back of the main shrine are two giant zelkova trees, around 600 years old. If you walk around the trees on the stone path in the shape of an infinity (∞), the gods will grant your wish. The shrine also has a special ema (small wooden plaques) tunnel that can be fun to walk through. 

An ema woodboard at Hikawa Shrine depicting a bride and groom.
Hikawa Shrine honors Susanoo, god of the sea and storms, and Amaterasu’s younger brother. Image via Shutterstock

Hikawa Shrine also has special omikuji (fortune-telling paper) shaped like a red snapper. After you take the paper out of the fish, you can keep the fish as a charm. Additionally, you can buy a unique red pencil charm designed to be like the ‘red string of fate.’ The more you use the pencil, the closer you get to your future partner.

If you want further luck, you can try receiving one of the 20 matchmaking stones, which the Miko priestess of the shrine blesses. These rocks are on a first-come, first-serve basis every from 8 AM, so set your alarm to make it on time!

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What is a Temple of Love: Izusan Shrine in Atami City (Shizuoka Prefecture)

Izusan Shrine (circa 5th century BCE) is on Mt. Izu-no-Oyama in the famous spa town of Atami City in Shizuoka. The shrine is renowned for being where the first shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate, Minamoto no Yoritomo, married his wife, Masako Hojo. According to historical records, Minamoto no Yoritomo and Masako Hojo secretly met at this shrine several times before marrying 850 years ago. The shrine is famous for providing aid in love and marriage.

What is a temple of love? Exterior shot of Izusan Shrine, a traditional Shinto shrine that's very red.
Izusan Shrine is in Atami, Shizuoka. Image via Shutterstock

The enshrined deities are Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto. The gods at Izusan Shrine are also famous for protecting your fortune and marriage. Additionally, going to this shrine will help guide you to find your marriage partner, so it is very popular with young people. At the shrine, you will see two dragons at the Chōzu-ya (hand water basin), one white and one red; these two dragons represent a husband’s and wife’s harmony. 

In addition, purifying yourself with that water will bring you great fortune. The shrine (and shops in Atami city) will occasionally also sell red and white yokan (red bean traditional sweets) representing the dragons, an excellent souvenir to buy! 

Two dragons near the found at Izusan Shrine. What is a temple of love?
Izusan Shrine honors Izanami and Izanagi. Image via Shutterstock

From the shrine, there is a great view overlooking Sagami Bay, making it a perfect date idea. You can drive or walk up 837 steps to get to the shrine. There are many different types of amulets to buy, which bring good luck in relationships and marriage, make sure to buy one when you visit! After visiting the shrine, you can relax in Atami’s famous onsens. 

Izumo Taisha Shrine in Izumo City (Shimane Prefecture)

Izumo Taisha Shrine is one of Japan’s most important shrines and is the oldest shrine in Japan. Moreover, approximately six million people from inside and outside Japan visit this shrine annually. At this shrine, it is common to see people clap their hands four times instead of two–twice for themselves and twice for current or desired partners. 

Exterior of Izumo Taisha Shrine. It's wooden with yellow paint.
Izumo Taisha Shrine is in Izumo, Shimane. Image via Shutterstock

The main deity enshrined at Izumo Taisha is Okuninushi no Okami. According to some of the creation myths of Japan, Okuninushi no Okami was the creator of the land of Japan. In addition, he is the deity of good relationships and marriage. In October every year, many gods gather in front of Okuninushi no Okami to talk about marriage and personal relationships. 

Many people believe that the Gods help bring up human relationship woes to Okuninushi no Okami, who then gives his blessings. Yet, what is a temple of love? This spiritual event is so popular that the shrine has exceptional “hotels” for these gods, and many actual hotels get fully booked! What is a temple of love, indeed!

Two hare rabbit statues at Izumo Taisha Shrine. What is a temple of love?
These statues represent the legend of a god of saved a hare. Image via Shutterstock

In any event, a popular item to buy at Izumo Taisha Shrine is the two-toned thread protection amulet in Japan that comes in red and white, bright colors. There are also cute ema plaques you can buy at home as souvenirs. 

If you visit these shrines, you will receive much luck in your romantic endeavors. Which shrines do you want to see and why? Do you understand what a temple of love is? Let us know in the comments below! 

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