By Dan Sloan
KYOTO, Japan (Reuters Life!) - Breaking up is hard to do, so visitors to Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital, seek divine intervention to lose that not-so-special someone.
At the 800-year-old Yasui Konpiragu Shrine, some 40,000 visitors a year -- mainly women -- crawl into a wish tunnel, pray and make offerings in "enkiri" rites aimed at cutting the knot.
Not on the list of cultural sites for spouses during the Asian Development Bank's 40th anniversary meeting this weekend, Yasui is less famous than other Kyoto landmarks but no less important, say pilgrims.
Hajime Torii, a priest at the shrine run by his family for generations, says special prayers offering consolation to visitors with serious domestic issues go for 6,000 yen ($50).
Forget a face-to-face meeting, forget a phone call, forget a “Dear John” letter and you can even forget a text messaging. The new-new thing is breaking up by prayer. The Japanese are always on the cutting edge of technology, but today some are resorting to ancient methods of kicking a lover to the curb. ‘Dear Great Kami, please let Akira take a hint. I can only take so much more of his James Dean impression. You know it’s not good. I think he would be much happier with someone else. Please take this 6,000 yen and my Hello Kitty correspondence set as a token of my good will. Domo and sayanora.’ We’re wondering if this method is going to migrate west any time soon. It is really the most humane way, but ultimately could be the most ineffective.