Where to Go in Hiroshima for Unique Amulets and Votive Tablets

ByJustin Hanus
Jan 31, 2024

Where to Go in Hiroshima for Unique Amulets and Votive Tablets

A modern way to attract visitors to a particular shrine or temple is to offer amulets and votive plaques. Each is a representation of the place, meaning it can be a great reminder about where you visited. Some of the amulets and votive plaques available from the shrines and temples of Hiroshima are particularly unique, making them worth seeking out.

1. Gokoku Shrine

While you’re visiting Hiroshima Castle, make sure to see Gokoku Shrine, which is on the grounds. The shrine features many references to koi, including two carp statues in the worship hall. In addition to drawing fortune slips (called omikuji), you can purchase a koi holding an omikuji to take home as a charm.

2. Sumiyoshi Shrine

At Sumiyoshi Shrine, you’ll find officially-recognized FIFA World Cup amulets. These feature a three-legged crow called Yatagarasu, which is both a god in Shinto mythology and the symbol for the Japanese soccer team. Since the World Cup in Qatar in 2022, more people have been visiting the shrine to pick up an amulet.

3. Atago Shrine

You’ll find another sports-based amulet at Atago Shrine. This shrine offers an amulet in the shape of a baseball, which fans can purchase on their way to see a game at Mazda Stadium. There are also votive plaques for fans to use to pray for a win.

4. Daiganji Temple

If you are a musician, you need to pay a visit to Daiganji Temple for a Benzaiten omamori. This lucky charm is dedicated to the Buddhist goddess Benzaiten, who is the deity of arts. The amulet features a picture of the goddess with a biwa — it’s ideal for storing with your own musical instrument. One of the Seven Lucky Gods, Benzaiten helps both amateur and professional musicians find success.

5. Rakuzanotobai Shrine

At Rakuzanotobai Shrine, you’ll find multiple types of amulets and votive plaques — all featuring motorcycles. This is actually one of two motorcycle shrines in the country, but the location of this one in Hiroshima is ideal because it’s on the Kitahiroshima motorcycle touring route. People pray here to stay safe on the roads when they start riding a new motorcycle or even on a daily basis.

6. Watashi Shrine

There is also a shrine in Hiroshima for cyclists to pray to stay safe. Watashi Shrine on Innoshima Island is dedicated to the god Oyamatsumi, about whom little is still known. To make this place extra accessible to cyclists, there are many bicycle racks nearby where you can leave your bike while you visit the shrine. You’ll find all sorts of small items for sale related to bicycles, including omikuji and votive tablets. However, the most popular is an amulet you can tie to the handlebars of your bike.

Picking up an amulet or votive tablet at each shrine or temple you visit is a great way to remember your time at each. Plus, they should bring you good luck! Try to visit all the above shrines and temples while you’re in Hiroshima to start a particularly unique collection.

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

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