There's no doubt the Japanese love their pets, giving them everything from four-wheeled strollers to kimonos and photo shoots. So what happens when a dog reaches its 'unlucky years'? How can a worried owner help their dog when it reaches those unlucky years that attracts spirits?
Fortunately for worried pet owners, the D+KIRISHIMA inn in Kyushu now offers exorcisms to help ward off the spirits that can gather around pets during the 'Yakudoshi'. Much like humans, dogs are believed to have specific ages that correspond with the dog's overall health decline. For a dog, those unlucky years are its seventh, tenth, and thirteenth, and it's believed the spirits can affect a dog's health and decrease its quality of life.
While it may seem silly to offer exorcisms to dogs, the service is taken very seriously. It is held by a Shinto chief priest on the grounds of a hotel in front of a shrine connected to the Kirishima Shrine; this shrine is in turn the sacred creation myth of Japan. Once the service is concluded, pets can rest in a private rotenburo while their owners are given the same treatment in human-sized accommodations. Once both pet and owner are well-rested, they are treated to a formal Japanese kaiseki meal, specially catered to their needs
With a rate of about $302 per night, which covers two owners and their dog, the accommodation might seem a bit steep price-wise. However, this rate includes breakfast, dinner, and the pet exorcism ceremony.