Nothing says pre-teen romance like silly superstitions and urban legends that float across the playground. Many of these last for generations, others only a week. Here are some related to love — specifically on how to make your crush fall in love with you — that we’ve heard or read about here in Japan. If you’re already in a relationship, why not check out our list of dating superstitions?

I’m Not Sure That’s How Love Works…

  • Place a bouquet of flowers on the Harajuku bridge and think of the one you love.
  • Catch three flower petals falling from a sakura tree and your wish of love will come true. However, you need to be with someone else at the time (presumably your crush) for it to have an effect.
  • If a ladybug lands on you, you’ll get married. It doesn’t count if you force it to land on you.
  • When you put a train ticket through the turnstiles, a 4-digit number is printed on it. The middle two numbers will tell you if your love will be a success or not. (Yet no one can tell us what those numbers should be.)
  • Spot 100 Volkswagen cars (apparently not specifically Bugs! Any will do!) and your wish will come true. Alas, if you see a red one, you have to start from zero again.


 So Specific They Must Be True?

  •  Make a call using the only yellow-colored public phone on Shinjuku-dori in Yotsuya and your affections will be answered by the one you love. However, you can only use a 1951 giza-jyu, which is a 10 yen coin with a serrated edge. (This particular type of 10 yen coin was only produced between 1951 and 1958. 10 yen coins made after this period have smooth edges.) Few coins from 1951 are still in circulation, and it’s rumored they were produced using actual gold, making them extra “powerful”. (Note: it’s hard enough to find a public phone at all these days, never mind a yellow one, so you may be better off just talking to the person you fancy.)
  • Take a fallen eyelash and place it on the index finger of your right hand. Blow on it, and if it successfully flies away, your dreams of true love will come true.
  • Grow the nail of your index finger on your left hand to 7mm, and paint it a shade of soft pink. Boom! Love will come your way.
  • When talking to your crush on the phone, ask which ear they’re holding the phone to. If they’re holding it to their right ear, ask them to switch to the left. Supposedly, any information entering the left ear will connect to the right side of the brain, which causes the listener to process how they feel about what is being said, rather than the words’ literal meaning.

These are just some of the superstitions and urban legends we’ve come across over the years. Have you heard of any of these before? Or have you heard any different ones? We’d love to know!

You can find more Japanese urban legends and superstitions on