Meiji Shrine, Tokyo

Meiji Jingu, in Yoyogi park is an island of peace and serenity in a loud and bustling city. Walking into this park will provide the break you need from the craziness of Tokyo. Astonishing way to show, how Japanese people may advance in technology rapidly and at the very same time keep in touch with nature. So peaceful place even while being in walking distance of Harajuku shopping street. The barrels of sake and wines in Meiji Jingu are definitely one of the attractions for photo taking.

The first emperor of modern Japan, Emperor Meiji, was instrumental in opening Japan to the outside world. He became emperor in 1868. After the deaths of the emperor and empress, the Meiji Shrine was constructed to enshrine their souls. It was dedicated on November 1, 1920.

The shrine building was burnt down in 1945 during World War II. Public of Tokyo rebuilt it in 1958. The spirits of the imperial couple were transferred to the new buildings in a ceremony on October 31, 1958. There are around 400 species of tree amongst the shrine’s 175 acre grounds.

Meiji Shrine is also home to Kiyomasa Well. The Kiyomasa’s well is said to have been dug by famous feudal warlord Kato Kiyomasa, whose family, according to the shrine, had a mansion in the area during the Edo period. This well in Meiji Shrine has drawn masses of visitors who believe it is a power spot where they can experience positive energy. The well is fountain head of Nan-Chi (South pond) and the pure water bubbles out in a steady flow all year round. The site became famous after some television programs featured it with people claiming that their luck improved when they used pictures of the well as background screens on their cell phones.

The Meiji Shrine is an amazing tribute and speaks volumes for the honour and respect for the emperor who brought Japan into the modern era.

You have to walk a bit to get into the actual shrine itself. The walkway leading to the shrine itself is wide, very well landscaped and has very peaceful feeling. Along the way there are displays with information about Meiji Emperor’s life and contribution to modern Japan. Even though it was crowded, the Japanese are very respectful and you still feel you have sufficient personal space. The atmosphere of the Meiji Jingu is excellent. lot of greenery which makes this place very calming and peaceful.

Surrounded by a huge park the shrine is a great place to visit any time during the year. There are plenty of information in English about Shrine, charms and fortunes. You are welcome to purchase offerings and post them as many visitors do. The most common offering is a small wooden plaque that you write prayers or wishes on and then hang on the structure with the others, you can’t miss it. Respectful behaviour is necessary, but you are welcome to wander around and take plenty of pictures.

Meiji Shrine is the centre of community life in Tokyo and is in high demand for rituals and ceremonies such as Shinto weddings and Miyamairi.

Is there anything more amazing than basically a gigantic forest in the very heart of city like Tokyo?  TOTALLY loved the experience!!

Hours:            Sunrise to Sundown. The shrine follows the sun precisely. For example, the hours are 6:40 to 16:00 in December and 5:00 to 18:30 in June. Hours are occasionally extended or reduced to accommodate the many events at the shrine. For example, the shrine is open all night on December 31st for New year festival.

Admission:   Free

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