- 2 min read

Jizo, Japan's Guardian of Travellers

Coming across Jizo while travelling in Japan

There is no way to know everything beforehand so travelling is often a lot about learning new things.

Many years ago I received a present from my Japanese friend - it was a very nice ceramic panel featuring three faces of ‘somebody’ unknown to me. I hung it on the wall as a decoration without knowing its meaning and only when in Japan did I learn that the image was of the deity Jizo, who, among other his other duties, takes care of travellers. Learning this, that present then became very meaningful for me.

I also recall seeing Jizo in Miyazaki Hayao's famous animated film, ‘Tonari no Totoro’ in the scene where the girls were caught in a heavy downpour and Satsuki asks the Jizo statue for shelter. So, when I came across a Jizo statue by the road in Japan, I already knew he was ‘my’ guardian for that trip. Afterwards, I came across Jizo quite often and always greeted them in a special way. Visiting Todaiji in Nara I purchased a small Jizo figurine whom I considered my good-luck charm.

Coming across a Jizo on your travels, offer it a prayer or two and ask for good luck in your trip!

Was this article helpful?
Help us improve JapanTravel.com
Give Feedback

Thank you for your support!

Your feedback has been sent.