Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta. This time, I went on a motorcycle tour from central Tokyo to Tsukijinja Shrine in Saitama Prefecture. Cho Shrine is an old shrine of the Tsukimachi faith, and is a rare shrine that has a guardian rabbit instead of a guardian dog. It is said to bring good luck with money and victory. This time I would like to introduce its charm and how to access it.
What is Cho Shrine?
Cho Shrine is a shrine located in Kishicho, Urawa Ward, Saitama City. It is also listed in the Engishiki Shinmyocho of the Heian period, indicating that it has a long history. The three deities enshrined here are Amaterasu Omikami, Toyoukehime no Mikoto, and Sujinson, and it is said that it was built inside a group of warehouses to store tributes to be delivered to Ise Grand Shrine.
cho'' in the company's name has the same pronunciation asmoon,” and the rabbit, which is said to be the animal of the moon, is the messenger of the gods. Therefore, you can see many rabbits in the shrine grounds. It also has some unusual features known as the Seven Wonders, such as the absence of torii gates and the absence of pine trees.
Route to Cho Shrine
This time I took a motorcycle tour from central Tokyo to Cho Shrine. My favorite car is a Harley-Davidson FLSB Sport Glide. This bike has elements of both a cruiser and a tourer, and can be enjoyed for a wide range of purposes from city riding to long touring.
The departure point is central Tokyo. I entered Yasukuni Dori from Suitengu Dori and took the Metropolitan Expressway No. 5 Ikebukuro Line via Mejiro Dori. I was able to drive comfortably on the Metropolitan Expressway with little traffic congestion. I got off at Urawa Minami IC, took the Shin-Omiya Bypass, turned right at Tajima Street, and entered the old Nakasendo. The Old Nakasendo Road has a historic townscape and shopping streets, and I could feel the atmosphere.
It was about 40km to Cho Shrine and took about 1 hour. Along the way, I took breaks at convenience stores and service areas.
Highlights of Cho Shrine
We arrived at Cho Shrine. As you enter the shrine grounds, you will immediately see the Gongen-zukuri shrine building, which is a combination of the main shrine and worship hall. This shrine building was built in 1859 and is made entirely of zelkova. The main shrine of a generation ago still exists as the main shrine of Inari Shrine.
In front of the main shrine, there is a chozuya, and there are also Koma Usagi. There is a small pond next to the chozuya, and there are rabbits here as well. There is a small island in the center of the pond, and there is also a Koma Rabbit. There are other rabbits hiding in various places within the shrine grounds, so it’s fun to look for them.
There is a Kagura hall next to the main shrine. There is a large votive tablet with the year’s zodiac sign written on it. This year is the Year of the Rabbit, so it’s perfect for Cho Shrine. Behind the Kagura Hall is Tenjin Shrine, a set shrine. This is where the god of learning, Michizane Sugawara, is enshrined. Those who are taking entrance exams or studying are welcome to visit.
There are many other attractions within the precincts, such as Inari Shrine and the zelkova tree used to connect the Nichiren Saints. In addition, the shrine grounds within the precincts are a forest of old zelkova and muknoki trees, creating an atmosphere rich in nature. It offers beautiful scenery in every season.
Motorcycle parking lot at Cho Shrine
There is a free parking lot at Cho Shrine, but the number of spaces is limited. Also, from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day, food stalls will be set up, so the parking lot will not be available. In that case, you will need to use the nearby coin parking, but it is likely to be crowded.
This time I went on a motorcycle tour from Urawa to Cho Shrine. Cho-jinja Shrine is an old shrine of the moon-machi faith, and has unusual features such as the guardian rabbit and the Seven Mysteries. It is said that it also brings good luck with money and winnings. You can enjoy historic buildings and beautiful natural scenery within the temple grounds.
If you go by motorcycle, you need to be careful about finding a parking lot, but other than that, it was easy to access and I had a comfortable ride. It’s close to Urawa, so it’s an easy spot for touring.
Cho Shrine is known as a power spot in Urawa. If you want to bring good luck, please visit this place once.