Omikuji, Japanese fortune-telling paper that can be found at shrines and temples throughout the country.

“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.  Actually people tend to take omikuji home when it’s good luck and which is totally fine.

Omikuji are normally written in Japanese but you can read your fortune by those kanji-characters below.


”吉” Kichi fortunes represent happiness.

大吉 (Dai-kichi) Great blessing – Extreamly good and couldn’t be better

 (Kichi), Blessing – Very good

中吉 (Chu-kichi) Middle blessing –  Good

小吉 (Sho-kichi) Small blessing – Not bad

半吉 (Han-kichi) Half blessing

末吉 (Sue-kichi) Blessing to come – Not very bad

”凶” 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!

 (Kyo) Curse – Bad

大凶 (Dai-kyo) Great curse –  Very bad

Unique Omikuji

eto omikuji

Eto-mikuji (Japanese zodiac omikuji)

The omikuji here comes with a ceramic ornament. You can pick your zodiac.

Toyokuni-jinja Shrine

Access : 10-minute walk from Keihan Shishijo station

Address : 〒605-0931 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Chayachō, 530

Hours : 9:00 to 16:30

Fee : 300yen

risu omikuji

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 Shrine

Access : 5-minute walk from Kitano-tenmangu Shrine

Address : 1 Hirano Miyamotochō, Kita-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 603-8322

Hours : 6:00 to 17:00

Fee : 500yen

kibune omikuji


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.

Kibune-jinja Shrine

Access : 30-minute walk from Kibune-guchi station on the Eizan Dentetsu Eizan Line

Address : 01-1112 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Sakyo Ward, Kuramakibunecho, 180

Fee : 200yen

Leave a Reply