Goma Training at Yakuo-in Temple
Many people who go to Yakuo-in to celebrate “Hatsumode” (The first shrine/temple visit of the new year). If you’re already planning on coming why pick up a Goma (buddhist talisman) while you’re at it!
Though pricey, you can order a Goma starting from 3,000 yen (prices vary depending on the size of your donation to the temple, the size of the Goma, type of Goma). For details on how to apply and price, please refer to Yakuoin’s website
Also, please note that the time for the Goma Rite is fixed.
During the New Year period, the number of times the event is held has been increased for the “Hatsumode and New Year Special Goma Rites” period.
The timetable is listed on the Yakuoin’s website , so please check it before finalizing your plans.
Applications can be made at the Goma Reception Office located within the precinct.
Apply here by writing your wishes (such as “safety of your family” and “warding off bad luck”) and the amount of “Ofuda” (paper and wood talismans) you would like on the form.
After applying you will be asked to wait until the designated time.
You will be given a small wood talisman called “Kujinadegi” when you apply, so you should fill it out while you wait.
Kujinadegi is a substitute talisman that can be burnt and cleansed with fire.
Write your name on the front side of Kujinadegi and the place of your body you want to be strong on the back side.
If you fill it out and put it in the designated place in the main hall, a monk will pray for your wish later.
As your designated prayer start time draws near, head to the main hall.
If you want to participate in the front row, you should try to enter the main hall early.
Since photography is prohibited inside the main hall, there are no photos in this article, but Yakuoin ’s website has a picture of the ceremony.
The Goma Rite begins with the entrance of the monks.
It is quite a spectacle to behold as the hall fills with 20 monks and spiritual trumpets play.
As the monks chant a sutra, the flame rises and they begin to pray.
If you make a offering amounting to 10,000 yen or more, your name will be read out during the prayer.
The prayer lasts about 30 minutes. After the prayer ends, the monk gives you a small green paper amulet called “Otemoto”. Always keep this in your wallet.
In addition, during the New Year period, Izuna Daigongen’s (principle deity of Yakuo-in)bportraiture will be displayed after the prayer.
Finally, you will receive a talisman with your wish and name written on it.
The photo below is a talisman that I received when I applied after an unlucky year.
The above is the flow of the Goma Rites.
In Winter the main hall can be very cold, so we recommend that you take measures to protect yourself against the cold!