Although foreign visitors do not know much about Okazaki Jinja Shrine, it was one of the shrines built in the four directions of Heian-kyo for the protection of the royal castle when Emperor Kanmu moved the capital to Kyoto in 794. It got a name “East Heavenly King” because of its location to the east of the capital where the sun rises.
This shrine is dedicated to Susanowo-no-Mikoto and Kushinadahime, a married couple and their children. Since the couple was blessed with many children, this shrine is also blessed with the blessings of childbirth and safe delivery.
The symbol of the shrine is a rabbit. You can find stone statues of rabbits throughout the shrine grounds. Rabbits are also symbolic of fertility.
Nearby spots from Okazaki Jinja Shrine
A narrow path on the west side of the shrine leads up to Konkai Komyoji Temple. This temple is famous for its autumn foliage.
To the north of Konkai Komyoji Temple is one of its sub-temples, Eishoin Temple. The vermilion-lacquered gate is its landmark. This small temple is especially beautiful in the fall foliage and is open to the public only during the fall foliage season. Once a hidden gem for those in the know, it is now attracting more and more visitors.
If you follow the road in front of Okazaki Shrine toward the west, you will arrive at the north side of Heian Jingu Shrine. To enter Heian Shrine, famous for its cherry blossoms and other flowers, you need to go around to the south side.
Shogoin Monzeki Temple is not very famous among tourists. This temple has deep ties to the Imperial Court. It is also an important head temple of Shugendo. It is open to the public on limited days.