Feb 24, 2011

In a Sea of Fox Statues

圓福山豐川閣妙嚴寺- This is the first stop for our day-trip at 愛知県 (Aichi Prefecture). First impression was that it is a huge temple. There were many mini temples housed in this huge temple grounds.

And next were the banners. Wishes were written using markers on these banners instead of pieces of small rectangular wooden planks, which I usually see in Japanese temples.

However, what surprised us the most is this temple:

It is called 霊狐塚, a shrine for the fox spirits.

Look at the sheer numbers of stone fox statues.

The massive number of fox statues reminded me of my last visit to the 招き猫 shrine at 豪徳寺.

Another interesting sight that struck us was that many visitors were trying to dig something from a rock hill.

Even age does not stop the pursuit of the lucky coin.

What were they digging for and why?

It is said that if the fox spirits have guarded lucky coins hidden in the creeks of the rocky hill, and if you can find and retrieve a coin, you have lots of good luck. It's like you borrowed luck from the shrine. After a year, you should return and replace with another coin.

I found one, and tried digging for it. But... too bad my hands were too big to squeeze in the crack. A little girl came and used her little hands to retrieve the coin though. She was very well-prepared. She even brought along a stick to dig for coins!

Keen to pay a visit and try your luck in finding a lucky coin?
Here's the map of the temple and how to get there: