Before you know it, 2022 is almost over. According to the Chinese calendar, next year is the year of the rabbit. In Japan, you will find several shrines that are dedicated to various animals. How about visiting a shrine dedicated to rabbits on your next to trip to Japan?
In this feature, we talk about Yukura Shrine, a shrine in Hokkaido that is protected by a rabbit. This is a popular tourist destination in winter.
Once you enter the temple precincts, climb the stairs, and the first thing you’ll see is a large torii (vermillion gate).
The main hall of this temple is right at the end of the precincts. Although not a very large temple, there is a lovely rural feel.
On the right side of the shrine, there is a sacred ginkgo, which is about 370 years old.
Along the path on the right side of the main hall, you will find a stone statue in the shape of a rabbit. Called Nadeusagi (stroking rabbit), this statue is the most popular spot in this temple. Legend has it that a sinful rabbit was once seriously injured and healed by the gods. After recovering, the rabbit changed his way of life by becoming a messenger of the gods who protect humans.
It is said that if you pet the rabbit and pray, your wishes will come true.
Behind the rabbit statue stands a row of cute smaller torii. While not as impressive as the row of gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, these are still stunning and make for a great photo op.
Next, we talk about souvenirs that you can purchase here. The first one is an omikuji (fortune) which is hidden inside a white bunny.
Just pull the red thread on the base to reveal a piece of paper displaying your fortune.
Another souvenir is a small wooden rabbit figurine. There are 20 poses available and you can choose one as a piece of decor for your home.
One of the most popular souvenirs is the Ikasu Omikuji. Shaped in the form of a squid, you are supposed to fish it out. Available in gold and white, the contents are written in a local dialect making it very interesting and unique.
The fortune paper is hidden in the stomach of the squid.
You will also find rabbit-shaped charms and straps that are useful to attach to your bag.
The year of the tiger is coming to an end, and the year of the rabbit is just around the corner. So how about visiting this spot on your trip to Hakodate!
Address：2-28-1 Yunokawacho, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido
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