Tokyo is a massive city with skyscrapers that touch the sky and a frantic buzz that goes on 24 hours a day all day everyday. Meiji Shrine is a huge temple, complex, forest and Shinto shrine in the heart of Tokyo that offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. In the later days of my trip to Japan I spent a a couple days just visiting (and revisiting) the various wards or attractions within the belly of Tokyo such as Harajuku, Shibuya and Akihabara. My Japanese pal suggested a stop at Meiji Shrine – another place I had read about and seen pictures of and thus I jumped at the opportunity to go there in the flesh.
Built for Emperor Meiji and his Wife
Meiji Jingu is Shinto shrine built in 1920 to honour the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken. Meiji shrine in it’s entirety is over 700,000 m2 and is dotted by various shrines, museums, galleries sports facilities and close to 170,000 trees of 245 species.
Lots so see, do and take photos of
I entered Meiji shrine complex from the entrance close to Harajuku and after about to hours of exploration with stops at a gift shop, pond, mythical underground spring and the main shrine courtyard I was truly exhausted. The last time I was so tired after walking was while visiting Todai-ji in Nara but it was good fun and quite educational. I learned that like Buddhism, Shintoism is a religion so deep and complex I may never understand but I respect the history, teachings and practices.
The official Meiji Jingu website does a great job of providing information about the shrine, even ceremonies and other events! Check it out at – meijijingu.or.jp/english/