Celebrate The Year Of The Rabbit By Visiting This Shrine Just North of Tokyo Which Is Devoted To Those Fluffy Bunnies

2023 is the year of the rabbit according to the Chinese Zodiac. This is something that pretty much every Japanese person will already be aware of after the Hatsumode (first visit to a shrine or temple at the start of the year) and New Years greeting card (nengajo) customs where the Twelve Animal Signs of the Chinese Zodiac are usually incorporated into the designs as well as the stamps.

The thousands and thousands of shrines in Japan often have the likes of foxes, lions, lion-dogs but there are a few exceptions like wolveselephants, monkeys and horses. There is also a rabbit shrine just north of Tokyo. It is just 10 minutes on foot from the west exit of Urawa station but I decided to do it on bicycle (60 minutes) back at the end of July 2022 as it’s only 15 kilometres north of the Tokyo Fox Global Operations Centre in Itabashi-ku.

There are a few entry points at this shrine including from Tsukinomiya Park where the shrine is located on the western side. However, I used the main entrance on the northern part of the park where you’d normally expect to see a giant torii gate of sorts at most shrines. There isn’t one here though!

As the title suggests, one is not greeted by lion-dogs or foxes at this shrine but by stone carvings of a pair of cute rabbits.

 

Just beyond them on the right is a water basin for the purification ritual but take a closer look and you’ll see….

…that there is a rabbit fountain with the water coming out of it’s mouth!

This place is called Tsuki-jinja Shrine; a name which is synonymous with with the words moon and good luck. In Japan, many people think of a rabbit when looking at the moon because generations of Japanese children have learnt about the origins of the moon through a traditional folk tale called ‘The Rabbit On The Moon‘.

Tsuki-jinja is yet another shrine which is supposedly a power spot but I’m always a little sceptical of such claims. However, my wife, who came me with recently for another visit when we were in the vicinity, is far more spiritual than me (not difficult!) and says she could get a sense of power from the place. Good for her I guess!

The highlight of this peaceful Shinto place of worship for me was the garden featuring a red torii gate and a small pond with a stone lantern and lone rabbit in it. The whole place has a calm and gentle atmosphere to it.

It was no surprise to see that all the ema wooden plaques were decorated with bunny rabbits. As is common at Japanese shrines, there were also a lot of tiny souvenir objects related to the twelve animals of the zodiac on sale.

 

2022 was the year of the tiger but presumably that has now been replaced by a rabbit. As aforementioned, I did recently return to this shrine with my wife in tow but whether I will return for a third time just to see the rabbit update is unlikely but you never know!

 

  • Tsuki-jinja Shrine is located at 3-17-25 Kishicho, Urawa-ku, Saitama-ken. It is open from 9am till 4pm every day.

Click here to read ‘Mimi Rabbit Cafe In Ikebukuro’

Click here to read ‘Okunoshima (a.k.a. Rabbit Island)’ 

Click here to read ‘A Unique Frog Shrine & A Park Featuring A Few Pre-Historic Dwellings’

Click here to read ‘Unique Monkey Temple In Tokyo (+ Other Primate-Related Locations Nearby!)’

About tokyofox

A Leicester City fan teaching English in Japan
This entry was posted in Quirky Japan and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.