Okazaki Shrine has a cute bunny as its guardian deity
After Emperor Kanmu ordered the move of the capital from Nara to Kyoto in 794, Okazaki Shrine was built in the Okazaki area of Kyoto, as the eastern protective shrine of the new capital. The gods enshrined here are Susanoo-no-Mikoto, Kushinadahime, and their children, three girls and five boys. Because the gods got so many children, the shrine is also known as a place to pray for fertility and childbirth. The hill the shrine was originally built on was a habitat for rabbits, which is why the guardian deity of Okazaki Shrine is a bunny, and you can find bunny statues and pictures all around the shrine. The good-luck-charms, ema wooden plaques, and fortune slips with bunnies on them are also popular. Because this praying here is said to help childbirth, this shrine is especially popular among female worshippers.
In front of the main hall, you have two guardian bunnies, not dogs like normal. The one on the right is a male one and has its mouth open in the “a” shape, and the one on the left side has its mouth open in the “un” shape. It is said that if you pet the bunnies, your marriage will be a harmonious one.
In this shrine, Amasha, the dragon-god of rain is worshiped. There are not many shrines like this in Japan, and because he is the god of rain, he is thought to be responsible for bumper crops. This shrine is also said to be a place where you can pray for your eye-related sicknesses to get better.
Pet the fertility bunny
This fertility bunny is made out of black stone and places by the place where you can wash your hands. It is looking up like it was looking at the moon and getting power from it. By putting water on its belly and then rubbing the belly, it is said that you will become fertile. This is a very popular statue among worshippers.
Buy a bunny fortune slip
At Okazaki Shrine you can buy many things that have to do with bunnies, from ema wooden plaques to good-luck charms, but the most popular item are these fortune slips. The fortune slip is inside these white and pink earthenware bunnies. You can see the bunnies of the people whose wishes came true lined up like in the picture.
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Okazaki Shrine / 岡崎神社
|Category||Temples & Shrines|
|Address||51 Okazaki Higashitenno-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City 606-8332|
|Directions||Take Kyoto City Bus #32, #93, #203, or #204 from Kyoto Station and get off at Okazaki Jinja-mae bus stop. Or you can take the subway to Keage Station from where it is a 15-minute walk to the shrine.|
|Open Hours||From 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.|
|Closed||Open every day.|
|Credit cards||Not accepted.|
It may not be so easy to get to this shrine by train, but there are many buses from Kyoto Station. Close to this shrine you have other famous sightseeing spots like Heian Shrine.
|Lanuages spoken||Only Japanese.|