Hakuto Shrine [白兎神社]
Entrance of Hakuto Shrine
Main shrine of Hakuto Shrine
Photo : ©Tottori Pref.
Hakuto Shrine ("Hakuto Jinja" in Japanese) is a small Shinto shrine.
It is located about 12 km west-northwest of the center of Tottori city and 5 km west of Tottori Airport.
"Hakuto" means "white rabbit".
Tottori area has a Japanese myth about Hakuto.
A god named Okuninushi living in Izumo area had 80 brothers.
Beautiful goddess named Yakamihime was living in Tottori, so his brothers were going to meet her.
Okuninushi was made to carry many baggages of his brothers and was walking behind them.
The brothers met a bare rabbit teared off the hairs around a cape near the current shrine.
The mean brothers recommended the rabbit to cool the body in the salty sea.
The rabbit did so.
But the rabbit had a stinging pain and cried.
Okuninushi who passed later asked why the rabbit was crying.
The rabbit said.
"I came from Oki Island." (About 100 km northwest of Tottori.)
"To cross the sea, I deceived the sharks and hopped on their backs."
"Just near here, because the plan had been known, the angry shark tore off my hairs."
"Then, the gods recomended to cool in salty water..."
Okuninushi with tender heart advised to wash the body in fresh water and lie the body on the medicinal herb.
The rabbit did so, then the body recovered.
The rabbit predicted that Yakamihime would become the wife of kind Okuninushi.
Okuninushi arrived at Tottori in the end, and Yakamihime chose Okuninushi as her husband.
Statues of rabbit in Hakuto Shrine
Hakuto Coast and a cape
Photo : ©Tottori Pref.
This shrine enshrines the god of the white rabbit.
It is unknown when this shrine was founded.
It is said that the lord around this area restored this shrine in the beginning of the 17th century.
The current main shrine was rebuilt in the late 19th century.
By the myth, this shrine has been worshiped as the god of recovery of skin disease.
And it is popular for a god of match-making because of the marriage of Okuninushi and Yakamihime.
In the precinct, there are many small statues of white rabbit.
There is a small pond named Mitarashi-ike (御身洗池) in the precinct, and it is said that the rabbit washed the body.
Strangely, it is said that the water level of the pond is unchanged even after the heavy rain or a dry season.
In the shrine, pretty Ema (a votive tablet) and lucky charm of white rabbit are sold.
The shrine is near Hakuto Coast (白兎海岸).
It is a long sand beach, and is at the western edge of Tottori Sand Dunes.
There is a small cape to the west of the shrine, and it is the place where the wounded white rabbit landed in the myth.
How to get here
By route bus for Shikano-eigyosho, about 40 minutes from Tottori station to Hakuto-jinja-mae stop.
The bus is operated every one or two hours.