The feature of Otoyo Shrine is a pair of stone carved guardian mice. You can see almost every shrine with stone carved guardian dogs. However, it is the only shrine in Japan which has guardian mice instead of guardian dogs, so many of visitors see them rather than to pray.
It might be hard to spot where these two mice are. They are on the front of the last small wooden building on the right usually called “Yashiro” in Japanese where God lives.
One mouse has a water ball which stands for abundance, healing powers, and a long life and is believed to bring you those luck. Those who want to have babies also visit this guardian mouse to pray.
Why mice instead of a pair of guardian dogs?
It is said that back to the myth, God now worshipped in this “Yashiro” was once in the danger of great fire in the mountain and the mice appeared and saved him.
Above all, how cute he is!