Find true love at Tokyo-daijingu Shinto shrine with Japanese girls!

Natural and mystic island in a modern district of Tokyo, Tokyo-daijingu is reputedly the shrine where the first Shinto wedding occurred. We arrived there under a blue sky this warm afternoon (15℃) to celebrate Spring (traditionally starting today in Japan) and the Year of the Horse!

Entrance of Tokyo-daijingu Shinto shrine.

Among the trees near the entrance, a pink-blue-green dragon greeted us for the purification ritual, providing holy water to cleanse our hands and mouth. Next, we glanced at the red and purple flags, climbed a few steps then stepped through wooden-golden gates. The wooden roof immediately caught our attention with its characteristic shape and golden ornaments shining over the blue sky.

Japanese girl drinking holy water before Tokyo-daijingu's dragon.

Quietly queueing behind numerous Japanese girls come to pray to find true love, we had the time to examine votive plaques decorated with horses; some beautifully reflected the sunlight!

Horse on a votive plaque at Tokyo-daijingu Shinto shrine.

Approaching the main hall, we could hear coins thrown into wooden boxes as offerings and hand claps preceding or following silent prayers. Our turn came, we glimpsed a few Japanese attending a Shinto ceremony in the hall, bowed, clapped our hands, prayed, clapped and bowed again…

Japanese girls praying to find true love at Tokyo-daijingu.

Afterwards, we joined a crowd of Japanese girls gathered around diverse colourful lucky charms (local speciality: find true love) and fortune slips. Sébastien left Tokyo-daijingu shrine with a light transparent lucky charm featuring a 3D horse; may it protect him well in 2014 🙂

Lucky charms at Tokyo-daijingu Shinto shrine.

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USEFUL JAPANESE
  • Tokyo = 東京, Tokyo-daijingu = 東京大神宮.