Meiji Shrine Is A Hidden Oasis In Yoyogi Park

Meiji Shrine is right next to Harajuku Street, aka Cat Alley.  It’s in Yoyogi Park in Tokyo’s Shibuya district, which is a few blocks from Shibuya Crossing.

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Japan is filled with shrines and temples.  There are hundreds upon hundreds of shrines in Japan; there’s a lot of them listed as Japan’s National Treasure.  I think Japan has more shrines than ramen shops.  It’s a great way to get full then burn off calories on any trip.  In my opinion, it’s a win-win situation.

The Courtyard

Meiji Shrine is a dedication to a former Emperor and Empress — Meiji and Shoken.  It’s Shinto shrine.  Shinto is an ancient religion in Japan with no founder, no prophet, no man-written book, and no religious conversion ceremony.  It’s a belief founded around harmony with nature and the practice of magokoro (i.e., a sincere heart).  It’s a great concept

The Meiji Shrine is surrounded by more than 100,000 trees.  In the mid-1910s, people donated the trees when Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken passed away.  The trees create a forest around the shrine and it gives it a magical atmosphere when walking through it.  I could have sworn there were mermaids, unicorns, and fairies everywhere around the place.  Well, that was before the shrooms and acid wore off.

Wedding Ceremony

Meiji has a massive tree in the middle of it.  The well-known shrine has prayers left by visitors under a massive tree where priests and maidens dress in traditional clothing during a wedding.  There’s a garden next to the shrine.  Furthermore, there are wine and sake barrels on the path to the main shrine grounds.   For your information, the barrels are empty.  I tried to drink from them and almost got kicked out.

Lastly, it’s a great place to take a walk.  It’s right next to Harajuku Street and inside Yoyogi Park.  It’s a good stop before heading to the overpopulated Shibuya Crossing down the street.  For more information about Yoyogi Park, check out our article here.

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The official website here:

http://www.meijijingu.or.jp/english/

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