• About Jinja - Taking It Home

About Shrines

Taking It Home

Jinja offer several ways to keep the power of the kami with you. A small offering is almost always required for any of these, and most jinja indicate the appropriate amount.


Ofuda are used to venerate the kami in your own home, and some people say that the kami’s spirit resides in them. Physically, they are tablets with the name of the kami or jinja written on, and they come in various sizes.


“Omamori” are small amulets, which are also said to contain the spirit of the kami. People normally choose an omamori that matches their request of the kami, and carry it with them.

Omamori are available for the same range of requests as gokito, and if you have a gokito performed many jinja will give you an appropriate omamori after the ceremony.

These take many forms, but most are colourful embroidered bags, which contain a sacred wooden tablet. You are not supposed to open the bags or look inside.

Omamori are appropriate gifts for friends or family who might appreciate the blessings of the kami.


A lot of visitors to jinja draw Japaneselanguage fortunes, called omikuji.

Votive Tablets(Ema)

Ema are small wooden tablets used to make requests of the kami. They have a picture on one side and space to write on the other. After writing, you hang the ema up in the jinja grounds.

Most jinja have pens available. Unlike the other items here, ema are often left at the jinja.


Many jinja will provide a goshuin as a record of your visit and respects.

This is a red stamp on a piece of paper, normally with the jinja’s name and the date written by hand in black. Every jinja has a different scarlet seal and the writing is always different, so some people in Japan collect them in special books, called “goshuincho”.

A goshuin is a record of your visit to the jinja, so they are not appropriate gifts.

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