• Silvia Forte

Finding luck - Shonokiinari Inazumi shrine

A stunning and relaxing atmosphere

"I believe in luck and fate and I believe in karma, that the energy you put out in the world comes back to meet you." (Chris Pine)

Do you believe in luck or are you superstitious person?

As Chris Pine said, I like to think that if you do something good luck will reward you, but sometimes I need to be sure to be lucky so what is my solution? Praying Kami-sama (deities)!


1. Inazumi Shrine History

2. How you can get lucky or discover if you are a lucky person?

3. My experience

4. Information on where I visited

Inazumi Shrine History
The shrine during Meiji era

About 2,080 years ago, the 10th Emperor SujinTakenunakawa opened the lakeside of Kofu Basin, which used to be a lake in the Koko era, to the Fuji River. It is said that he built a rice field and was enshrined in Maruyama for praying for abalone, abundant grains, and prayers (Maruyama is now Maizuru Castle). Although it was a place of reverence for the Ichijo Tadayori clan as a god of gods.In the Tokugawa era, many people come to the shrine during the Senryo Festival. You can have and the idea of how it was by the stone called "Mayoi ko shirube ishi" (まよい子しるべ石) literally the "Lost child guide stone". On the right side of the stone tower is engraved with "searching", and on the left side is "aspiring", describing the characteristics of the lost child and the child's feelings.

まよい子しるべ石 the "Lost child guide stone"

Therefore, the shrine and crops were rebuilt and the sanctuary was made into a park, following the prefectural government.

From the Meiji and Taisho eras, people held festival events called the Inari Three Great Festivals, (稲荷三大祭, Inari sandai matsuri) with the slogan “God increased the power by the respect of the people, and the people lucked by the virtue of God”.

Nowadays, with the help of the Kofu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, it was possible to hold a new festival, called Mitsugu ki-sai (献木祭) when people donate lumber to a shrine. Also, thanks to the development of transportations such as the Chuo Line and the Minobu Line, many people come to the shrine and it becomes people's part of life.

2. How you can get lucky or discover if you are a lucky person?

When you go to a shrine there are a lot of things you can do.

First: pray the kami of that shrine to seek the god's favor. How?

There is a code of behavior to follow.

・ Purify before you pray: When you enter the shrine, you’ll find a water pavilion near the entrance called a temizuya for cleansing before you approach the gods.

the dragon shape water pavilion

・ Make an offering at the haiden: put in the offertory box (saisen-bako) five-yen coin, considered a good choice because it sounds like ‘go-en’, the Japanese word for luck (ご縁). The ten-yen coin, however, is considered unlucky despite being worth twice as much because it sounds like 遠縁 (‘tou-en’), which means that your luck will be far away.

・Ring the bell, the bell was believed to ward off evil spirits.

・ 二礼二拍手一礼 (Two-two-one): first, greet the kami-sama by bowing deeply two times. Next, clap two times to express your appreciation to the kami-sama. Then, offer your silent prayer to the kami-sama. At the end of your prayer, excuse yourself with a final bow.

the front view of the main shrine

Second: buy an omikuji or a "paper fortune teller"(おみくじ). Omikuji is a way to predict the fortunes of individual people, showing a person’s overall fortune for the future as well as a prediction for detailed items including health, work, love, business, study, and travel. Usually, you can pick them randomly from a box for 100 yen, and hope that it says "luck".

The rank in the order of “Dai-Kichi, Kichi, Chu-Kichi, Sho-kichi, and Kyo”, meaning excellent luck, general luck, middle luck, small luck, and bad luck respectively. If you get "bad luck" do not worry, you have only to tie it to a designated place on the grounds of the shrine or temple.

I was really lucky!

Third: you can write your prayer or wish on "ema" (絵馬, lit. "picture-horse") are small wooden plaques. It will hang at the shrine until they are ritually burned at special events, symbolic of the liberation of the wish from the writer.

Enma near a sacred tree

And last but not least, you can aks for a goshuincho. What is it? It is, literally, an “honorable stamp/seal book” used by people visiting shrines or temples. A completed goshuincho, especially one that goes to certain specific shrines or temples, supposedly gives some sort of spiritual fulfillment.

in less than 5 minutes here is my shrine stamp
My experience

So? Am I lucky? Yes. I discovered a beautiful place, listened to the sounds of a shrine without other noisy people, observe every single glimpse, pray for what I want and how long I want. I still think that all my luck is not made by goodness but by my efforts and persistence and maybe a little percentage of divine goodness, that says "Hey you are doing great! Keep going!".

Even If you do not believe in this kind of thing, I think it is a spiritual experience you can enjoy.

But let me buy this lucky pencil set that will help me to pass my tests! Why they are special? The shape of this pencil is pentagonal (not round or hexagonal like all the other pencils), the different colors represent five wisdom and they are accompanied by poetry that stimulated the energy of the mind.

With these pencils I will not fail my tests!

4. Information on where I visited

・Place: 400-0865 10-2 Otamachi, Kofu, Yamanashi

・Tel: 055-233-5573 (8:00 to 17:00)

・Admission: Free

・Website: http://www.inazumijinjya.com/

・Mail: Mail info@inazumijinjya.com