Japanese charms, or omamori, are amulets one can purchase at shrines and temples in a variety of shapes. When I first went to Japan as a teenager, I purchased omamori at a few sites, then decided to get one for each shrine we visited. Traditionally, omamori are not collected, but actually returned to shrines a year later as they are believed to lose their blessing and potency. My omamori are mementos, reminders of special places I have visited. Some of the charms below are from famous places, others not so much. A few of my favorites are from the smaller shrines and temples off the beaten path where I met kind people or saw unexpected things. Because of this, I will not return these, but decided to photograph them and share them here as a display box of a decade of memories in Japan.
AROUND MT. FUJI
Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto
Northwest Kyoto and the Kamo River Shrines