Discuss as:

Sacred waters of Japanese shrine said to turn dirty money into good fortune

Kimimasa Mayama / EPA

Akemi Takanezawa, right, and Sayaka Ikeda, center, washing 10,000 yen and 1,000 yen bills with water for purification at Zeniarai-Benten shrine in Kamakura, Japan, on Jan. 6, 2012. It is believed that money washed in sacred water at the shrine will increase one's fortune at the start of the New Year.

Kimimasa Mayama / EPA

Rio Kawana, 4, washes coins in water for purification at Zeniarai-Benten shrine on Jan. 6, 2012.

The Japan National Tourism Organization has more on the Zeniarai Benten Shinto shrine, which is located in a hollowed-out rock:

It is said the water of the spring inside the cave has the power to bring prosperity in business and good luck with money when money is washed in the holy water.

See more things people do for good luck in the New Year in our slideshow: New Year's traditions around the world.