How Find Out Your Fortune at Japanese Buddhist Temple, Omikuji (おみくじ)

By Donnie | Articles

If you’ve ever been to a a temple in Japan you’ve probably, at some point walked by a . What is a —- you ask? Well a —- is a stand consisting of bare, metal rods. Usually when you see these rods, they have pieces of paper knotted around them, some times hundreds of pieces of paper (depending on the temple). These pieces of paper are fortunes from some of the temple visitors.

Step 1: Put a 100 yen coin into the slot. “Hey! Temples gotta make money too, you know.” ;). Nobody’s actually going to make you put a coin in, but I figure it’s respectful to follow the temples traditions, ne?

Step 2: Pick up the metal Omikuji container and shake well.

Step 3: Angle the container to get one of the “fortune sticks to come out of the small opening in the container.

Step 4: Check the number on the stick and find the drawer with the same number on it.

Step 5: Don’t forget to put the number stick back into the shaker!

Step 6: Open the drawer that corresponds to your stick number. Inside of this drawer…lies your fate!

Step 7: If your kanji is good enough, read your fortune, if not, you may want to bring someone along to translate.

Step 8: If your fortune is good…smile! If your fortune is average…no worries. If your fortune is bad…umm…well, remember this is all just superstition anyway (that’s what I usually tell myself when I get a bad fortune).

Step 9: You can either take your fortune home or tie it to one of the metal omikuji posts outside of the main hall.

Omikuji Photos

Taking out 100 yen

Putting in 100 yen!

Shaking the ole omikuji box

Me after getting a bad fortune.

Tying my bad fortune to one of the omikuji posts outside the main hall.

"Accidentally" ripping my bad fortune

Omikuji Post

Here are the actual list of rules directly from Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Japan. My Steps were pretty accurate if I do say so myself 🙂 . I really like the last line about not taking it easy just because you got a good fortune or being able to overcome a bad fortune with hard work. I think it makes people who get bad fortunes (i.e.-me) feel just a little bit better.

Omikuji instructions at Sensoji in both Japanese and English!



Donald Ash

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  • XD Donald-san your expressions are so cute. This cracked me up. I had a really long day too! I will remember to make sure to put the stick back if I go. 🙂

    • Donald Ash

      Wait, are you doing the “make Donald blush” thing, now, too? :).
      Thanks Nanami. I’m sorry to hear you had a long day. Busy because of work?

      • -laughs- It was like 10hrs of driving on sunday to get back from toronto because of getting stopped at customs, 4hrs on monday to finish off the drive, 4 hrs each way yesterday for a doctor’s visit. I’m just really worn out! XD Too much driving.

  • Anthony

    Reminds me of the 8-balls that you shake lol. The “accidentally” expression is classic.

  • Tetsuo Harachi

    Hello, I’m Japanese. This page is very good for foreign
    people to know about omikuji.
    Like explanation board omikuji is supposed to take it and keep it. Tell the truth, many Japanese don’t know it. I also didn’t know it before. But about ten yearsago I found out I should keep it, Then read the sentence as your daily guide, and next time you go to temple or shrine, you’ll tie it there. But when I keep it in my purse, omikuji became really dirty. So I started to make omikuji case. I sell it at some shrine. I hope to take a look at my page. It’ll be also good souvenir with omikuji for foreign people too.,english.html

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