Touring Kyoto and the Shinto Shrines of the Seven Lucky Gods

Did you know that in Kyoto there are seven Shinto Shrines dedicated to the “Seven Lucky Gods”: Daikokuten, Bishamonten, Ebisuten, Juroujin, Fukurokuju, Benzaiten, Hoteison, and that the tradition to tour around the city and visit all seven shrines originated in Kyoto.

Today I would like to discuss Daikokuten.

In Japan, Daikokuten (大黒天), the god of great darkness or blackness, or the god of five cereals, is one of the Seven Lucky Gods (Fukujin).

The god enjoys an exalted position as a household deity in Japan. Daikoku’s association with wealth and prosperity precipitated a custom known as fukumusubi, or “theft of fortune”. This custom started with the belief that whoever stole divine figures was assured of good fortune if not caught in the act.

Daikoku is variously considered to be the god of wealth, or of the household, particularly the kitchen. He is recognized by his wide face, smile, and a flat black hat. He is often portrayed holding a golden mallet called Uchide no kozuchi, otherwise known as the “mallet of fortune”, and is seen seated on bales of rice, with rats nearby signifying plentiful food.

At the Shinto Shrine dedicated to Daikokuten in north Kyoto, near Kitayama Street, it is possible to have wedding ceremonies, elopements, vow renewals, or is also a beautiful place to have a location photo shoot.

During your visit to Kyoto, consider going off the beaten tourist path and go out and explore the Shrines to the Seven Lucky Gods. Contact Kyoto Wedding Pro Japan for all or any of your elopement, vow renewal, wedding, or location photography, and traditional Japanese kimono needs.