2023 was the year of the rabbit, so we finally went to check out Saitama city’s famous ‘rabbit’ shrine in Urawa. A shrine which I’ve always known is there, but due to distance from my house and parking concerns I hadn’t visited in the past. As it turns out, there is some parking on the shrine grounds, but its limited. This shrine, I feel, is more convenient by public transport.
If you are ringing in the year of the rabbit (next one not until 2035!) and / or a rabbit lover what better shrine to visit than the rabbit shrine: Tsukinomiya aka Tsuki Shrine! Located in Urawa, Saitama City, at Tsukinomiya Shrine there are several rabbit statues in the precincts and even the komainu are rabbits. I particularly love the rabbit in the pond spurting water (pictured above)! The prayer plaques have rabbits on them and you can buy amulets in the shape of a rabbit here. They have food stalls on the precincts today for New Years and will do for the next two days as well.
Apart from New Year celebrations, this shrine has several other annual events. The next big one coming up after New Year is Setsubun. Setsubun is on February 3rd annually. The setsubun here is a smaller and quieter than at other shrines in Saitama City, such as Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine or Hisaizu Shrine. Possibly because it is on after dark. The ceremony starts at 5 pm after which they have ‘mamemaki’, where they throw beans to the congregation for good luck.
Shrine: Tsukinomiya / Tsuki Shrine / the Rabbit Shrine / 調神社
Address: 3-17-25 Kishi-cho, Urawa Ward, Saitama, 330-0064. View on Google Maps.
Hours: The shrine is open from 9 am to 4 pm throughout the year. But for New Years day they open from midnight to 6 pm. The precincts are open 24 hours, but the parking lot is only open office hours.
Access: about a ten minute walk from Urawa Station
Parking: as above, the parking lot is only open office hours. However, it is not open over New Years as there is usually festival stalls in the parking lot.
A very Happy New Year to you and yours, may 2023 be your best year yet!
Some other Year of the Rabbit Attractions in Saitama Prefecture
- Saitama Children’s Zoo – not only can you pet rabbits and get your photo taken with them, the zoo also has a Beatrix Potter (Peter Rabbit) museum and Peter Rabbit statues.
- The Rabbit shrine – in Saitama City.
- Miffy Kitchen Storehouse and bakery – bonus, its in the tourist area of Kawagoe city!