By Eri Ito
Pulling out an o-mikuji (a slip of paper with a random fortune written on it) is part of the custom when visiting a temple or shrine in Japan. Said to originate in the practice of drawing lots and used in ancient times to gain divine guidance for decisions like choosing an heir or deciding on government policy, these fortune slips became part of everyday religion in the early days of the Kamakura period (1185-1333). A standard o-mikuji contains a poem and short details on what to expect in the near future, but some places of worship have gone far beyond the simple slip, creating small pieces of art that make great collectibles or souvenirs. Here’s a list of our favourite, unique o-mikuji, available at various temples and shrines in Tokyo from Asakusa to Azabu-Juban. Why not set out on a quest to ‘catch them all’?