“Omikuji” are small pieces of paper on which your fortune is written, and they are available at shrines and temples.
Many people draw an omikuji when they go to worship. Fortunes are described as blessing or curses, and they contain advice regarding things such as health, love, study, and business.
① Draw a lottery stick
You pick the number from the container. Normally they are written on the lottery sticks in the cylindrical container. Shake the container while praying to the god. Turn the container upside down to allow a stick to drop out through the small hole.
② Pay the fee
Tell a shrine or temple attendant your number, and then pay the fee to get the fortune paper.
③ Tie it to a tree branch
After omikuji is read,it is usually tied to a tree branch or other designated place. It’s believed that tying it to a tree branch link the fortune-seeker with a deity, this custom has been passed down from the Edo era (1603-1868) and still continues today.
Omikuji are normally written in Japanese but you can read your fortune by those kanji-characters below.
大吉 (Dai-kichi) Great blessing – Extreamly good and couldn’t be better
吉 (Kichi), Blessing – Very good
中吉 (Chu-kichi) Middle blessing – Good
小吉 (Sho-kichi) Small blessing – Not bad
末吉 (Sue-kichi) Ending blessing – Not very bad
● Kichi fortunes represent happiness.
凶 (Kyo) Curse – Bad
大凶 (Dai-kyo) Great curse – Very bad
● Kyo fortunes are tought to mean that you have bad luck, while dai-kyo means that your luck couldn’t ba any worse. Some think that getting dai-kyo simply means that things can only get better!
Eto-mikuji (Japanese zodiac omikuji)
The omikuji here comes with a ceramic ornament. You can pick your zodiac.
Toyokuni-jinja ShrineAccess : 10-minute walk from Keihan Shishijo station Address : 〒605-0931 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Chayachō, 京都府京都市東山区大和大路通り正面茶屋町530 Open : 9:00 to 16:30 Fee : 300yen
Risu no Otuge (A message from a squirrel)
Squirrels are thought to be the god’s messengers at this shirine. The omikuji comes with a squirrel having a cherry blossom.
Hirano-jinja ShrineAccess : 5-minute walk from Kitano-tenmangu Shrine Address : 1 Hirano Miyamotochō, Kita-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 603-8322 Open : 6:00 to 17:00 Fee : 500yen
This paper fortune can only be read when the paper is placed on the sacred water. Once the paper is dry, the words disappear again as the Kibune Jinja enshrines a water deity.