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Yaegaki Shrine

A popular sightseeing destination due to its deep connections to Japanese mythology and the tradition of predicting one’s fortune in love with a sacred pond.

By Laura Payne

Located in Shimane Prefecture’s capital city of Matsue, Yaegaki Shrine is a popular sightseeing destination due to its deep connections to Japanese mythology and the tradition of predicting one’s fortune in love with a sacred pond.

The shrine’s founding

Photo by: PIXTA/安ちゃん The shrine’s main hall.

According to legend, the origin of Yaegaki Shrine is connected to the Shinto deities Susano’o and Kushinadahime.

After being banished from the heavens due to misbehavior, Susano’o descended to the earthly realm and soon encountered two elders and a young woman who were in tears. When asked why they were crying, the elders revealed that they once had eight children, but every year an eight-headed serpent named Yamata-no-Orochi had come and devoured one of them. Soon, the serpent would come for Kushinadahime, their last daughter, and since they were powerless to stop the serpent all they could do was weep.

Susano’o offered to slay Yamata-no-Orochi if Kushinadahime would marry him, to which she and her parents agreed. After successfully killing the serpent, Susano’o and Kushinadahime were married at the current location of Yaegaki Shrine.

The shrine grounds

Photo by: Laura Payne The mirror pond.

Nowadays, visitors to Yaegaki Shrine offer prayers to Kushinadahime and Susano’o at the main hall. Romance is a popular thing to pray for, but many also pray for the health and safety of their family. At the shrine office, visitors can buy protective amulets or pieces of paper used for fortune telling at the Mirror Pond–named so because Kushinadahime herself allegedly used it as a mirror.

Situated in a wooded grove, the Mirror Pond is said to be able to predict when one’s soulmate will arrive. One only needs to float a piece of fortune-telling paper on the water’s surface, then carefully place a ¥10 or ¥100 coin on top of it. If the paper sinks quickly (in less than 15 minutes), one’s soulmate will arrive soon. If the paper takes longer to sink, one’s true love will take time to appear. Additionally, the distance the paper sinks from where it was first placed hints at whether one’s soulmate is located close by or far away.

Other famous features of the shrine grounds include a treasure hall containing a mural of Susano’o and Kushinadahime–painted in the eighth century–and a monument to the first waka poem ever written in Japan. It is said that this poem was composed by Susano’o after defeating Yamata-no-Orochi.

Things To Know

Things to know

Entrance to the shrine grounds is free, but admission to the treasure hall costs about ¥200. This fee can be paid at the shrine office. If you enter the treasure hall, please remove your shoes before entering and refrain from taking photos of the mural.

Fortune-telling papers for the Mirror Pond cost about ¥100 per sheet. When visiting the Mirror Pond, be careful not to drop anything in the water because the pond is deep, and it may be difficult to retrieve items.

How To Get There


By train

Take a city bus from Matsue station (Platform 4) and alight at Yaegaki Jinja. This bus ride takes about 20-minutes and costs about ¥250.

Where To Stay

Rakuten Stay House x Will Style Matsue
  • 240 Saikamachi, Matsue-shi, Shimane, 690-0056 Japan
  • ¥25,200 - ¥80,500
  • 4/5 (45 reviews)
  • 3.4 km
Matsue Urban Hotel Lake Inn
  • 153 Saikamachi, Matsue-shi, Shimane, 690-0056 Japan
  • ¥5,610 - ¥5,940
  • 3.72/5 (785 reviews)
  • 3.5 km
Green Rich Hotel Matsue Ekimae Futamata Yunohana
  • 493-1 Asahimachi, Matsue-shi, Shimane, 690-0003 Japan
  • ¥7,110 - ¥21,040
  • 3.42/5 (3,543 reviews)
  • 4.0 km
Matsue Excel Hotel Tokyu
  • 590 Asahimachi, Matsue-shi, Shimane, 690-0003 Japan
  • ¥9,450 - ¥79,800
  • 4.32/5 (1,335 reviews)
  • 4.0 km
Matsue Urban Hotel Cubic Room
  • 590-3 Asahimachi, Matsue-shi, Shimane, 690-0003 Japan
  • ¥3,630 - ¥4,290
  • 4.38/5 (141 reviews)
  • 4.1 km

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