Recently I visited 出雲大社 Izumo-taisha or Oyashiro (Izumo Grand Shrine) in Shimane Prefecture. It is one of the most important shrines in Japan, and is known for establishing good relationships that would bring happiness to people lives.
A symbol of the Izumo-taisha is its massive shimenawa ("enclosing rope" that are made of lengths of laid rice straw rope used for the purification rituals in Shintoism). The shimenawa at Izumo's Kaguraden (Kagura Hall) is the largest in Japan with a length of 13.5 meters and a weight of 5 tonnes, pictured here in the first image.
*All facts above were made according to Wikipedia*
A new symbol Izumo-taisha is usagi (rabbits), or as I like to called them usagi-chan. Especially after the marriage of Princess Noriko back in October 2014, new stone sculptures of little usagi-chan can be found around the shrine--this is in addition to the other bronze ones already a part of the Izumo landscape. They reminded me of the ones I painted for a client last year, and I though it would be nice to share my usagi-chan too.
A quick note of the second picture, there was only one sakura tree in bloom when I visited there, though am sure they should all be in bloom by now.