From Wikipedia: O-mikuji are random fortunes written on strips of paper at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan. These are usually received by making a small offering and randomly choosing one from a box, hoping for the resulting fortune to be good.
The o-mikuji predicts the person's chances of his or her hopes coming true, of finding a good match, or generally matters of health, fortune, life, etc. When the prediction is bad, it is a custom to fold up the strip of paper and attach it to a pine tree or a wall of metal wires alongside other bad fortunes in the temple or shrine grounds.
Asahikawa Shrine in Higashi-Asahikawa is a shrine build by the Tondenhei (military settler colonists recruited to develop and defend Hokkaido), and is a popular shrine for women because it is dedicated to the goddess of beauty.
When our writer went there at night, the lanterns were lit and had a wonderful atmosphere.
Asahikawa Shrine is the shrine which have the greatest number of Omikuji available among the shrines in the city.
In addition to the basic Omikuji that can be drawn for 100 yen, there are various types: bells, those with charms that can be put in coin purses, strapped ones, and Omikuji for children.
Our writer bought the "Asahikawa Kamikawa Hyakumangoku Fukuyo Mai Kome" one.
The Omikuji is an "Ezo Mikuji » (Ezo is Hokkaido’s old name). The fortune slip columns are written in Hokkaido dialects.
The fortune slips our writer draw at the Asahikawa Shrine had "great luck" written on it.
The amulet our reporter selected at Asahikawa Shrine is "Utsukushimamori" (beautiful amulet).
It's a talisman to keep your mind and body beautiful and gave it to her mother.
At the Asahikawa Shrine, the first visit is until January 7th and from January 10th to January 15th, little by little, the New Year gate's decorations will be burned down.
Please see the official website for more details.
* Spot info *
Address: Asahikawa-shi Higashi Asahikawa Minami 1-6 Chome Zoo Street
Official website: http://www.asahikawajinja.or.jp/index.html
The Nagayama Shrine in Nagayama is the oldest shrine in Hokkaido.
When you park your car in the parking lot, be sure to return to the torii gate and slowly look at the precincts.
In the large pond on the left, ducks covered with snow are standing still.
At Nagayama Shrine, our writer chose a well-known sculpture in Hokkaido to bring her good luck: the Bear Omikuji.
Shogun Takeshiro Nagayama, who was involved in the development of the Kamikawa region once composed a tanka (a traditional Japanese poem containing five lines of 5, 7, 5, 7 and 7 syllables, respectively):
『熊の住む 蝦夷の荒野を国のため きりひらきてよ ますらをの友』
"Kumano sumu, Ezo no kouya wo kuni no tame, kirihirakite yo, masurawo no tomo"
"The land of the bear, for the sake of our homeland, open this wasteland, my vigorous brothers"
The shrine was made after the song that he wrote.
Like the famous brown bear of Hokkaido, the salmon-eating bear is proud, dignified and somewhat charming.
The omikuji drawn at the Nagayama Shrine gave our reporter a "Middle/medium blessing"
The amulet selected at the Nagayama Shrine is the “Good Fortune for work amulet”.
As the name suggests it, it is an amulet which brings success at work. Our reporter chose this for herself.
Three colours were available and our columnist chose the lovely pink one.
Like the Asahikawa Shrine, the Nagayama Shrine has a shrine office where you can choose fortunes and amulets even after the new year peak of visitors.
Please see the official website for details.
* Spot info *
Address: Asahikawa-shi Nagayama 4-jō 18-chōme 2 - 13
Official site: https://www.hokkaidou-asahikawa-nagayamajinnja.com/
The Kamikawa Shrine is located in the Kaguraoka Park. Many people visit this shrine every year, crowd and heavy traffic are the norms here around the first days of the new year. However, this year there wasn't much congestion, probably because everyone was trying to avoid the three Cs to prevent the Covid-19 from spreading.
Even in winter, many wild animals live here, so even when you visit the shrine for the first time, you can meet Hokkaido squirrels and oriental tits, this is why this shrine is also well-loved by children.
The omikuji of Kamikawa Shrine is nothing flashy or unique, but there were an omikuji with a beckoning cat and an amulet strap. And this is what our reporter chose in this shrine.
There are eight colors of small beckoning cats. Our writer got a red beckoning cat. Each color has a meaning and said to be blessed by a God.
This fortune drawn at the Kamikawa Shrine had “great luck” written on it. All three fortunes this year were good fortunes, which is encouraging.
The amulet selected at Kamikawa Shrine is the "Reiwa Metal Ox Bell".
This year, since our writer’s second son is going to be 12 (since the Chinese years have a 12 years cycle, her son was born the year of the ox), she wished him to be healthy and decided to give him the amulet.
The light sound of the bells, the neat pure white body and the red cherry blossoms which is also the crest of Kamikawa Shrine, are very nice.
Kamikawa Shrine enshrines Sugawara no Michizane, the god of learning, so many students come here for their first shrine visit of the year.
Since the Kamikawa Shrine is located inside the Kaguraoka Park, it may be great to take a stroll in the park to feel the nature after paying homage.
For more details, please see the official website and official blog.
Let’s take it slowly this year
To avoid the spreading of the Covid-19, you don’t have to visit the shrine during the first days of the year.
These shrines had pretty unusual fortunes slips and wonderful amulets !
Shrines are a power spot. You can, of course, go to the shrines for the first visit of the year but it is also great to visit them for a change of mood.
Translated from Mami’s article.