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A Romantic Shrine
I found this shrine just going for a walk around Beppu, not too far from Beppu Station. The most notable thing, I think, is the “Cedar Couple” at the entrance to the shrine. There is a legend that if a couple walks through the gate made by the two trees together, they will get married. I visited here alone the first time, but it was still a nice place for me to visit and pray to be more comfortable with making some noise, after loudly ringing the clanky bell.
There were some cool omikuji – including Koimikuji, a love fortune. I haven't seen these anywhere else but they must exist at most of the love themed shrines. No doubt popular for single women, the special fortunes included a cellphone strap with a heart shaped bell, in different colors. (Different colors usually have different meanings, from luck in health – red, to luck in education - blue.) I got a red bell as well as a sakura shaped fortune that folded into one petal shape and had five different types of fortune on it.
The shrine has a nice view of the Beppu bay and is worth the walk from the station, through quiet neighborhoods with hot water canals running near the streets. On the stone walkway towards the main entrance, there are some hidden special step stones - a crescent moon and a sake gourd or hyotan. See if you can find them.
I went here two or three times because I like it so much. The first time I entered through the side and missed the cedar couple (as well as the fun shaped step stones leading up to the entrance). I'll probably go again. It's a peaceful place that left me with a good feeling. (Word of warning, there might be mosquitoes, although that's at most shrines.)