For the foreign travelers who are not satisfied with the bus tour in Tokyo.

Travel Diary in Tokyo

Harajuku, Meiji Jingu Shrine

Top Page

Harajuku 1 - Meiji Jingu (June 2009)

Harajuku must be one of the most interesting places for foreign visitors.
This is a town of fashion and pop culture, but also very important sacred place.

Today, I will show you Meiji Jingu Shrine.
It was originally built in 1920 to enshrine Emperor Meiji and his consort Empress Shoken 8 years after his death.
Emperor Meiji was in his throne from 1868 (right after the Meiji Restoration) until 1912.
Meiji Jingu was lost by the fires during World War 2 and reconstructed in 1958.

You start from little pretty but very crowded JR Harajuku Station.

JR Harajuku Station

The entrance gate is only 2 minutes from the station.
Once you walk through under the first Torii, shrine gate, you will be in the different world.
You will forget that you are in the middle of Tokyo covered by the deep greens.

Entrance Toriiapproach

On the way to the Main Shrine, you will see the donation of sake (Japanese rice wine)
and also western wine barrels.

Donation of sakeDonation of wine

Then you will see the big torii, shrine gate.
This is the biggest torii in Japan. 12m high and the upper beam is 17m wide.
It is made of 1500 years-old cypress tree brought from Taiwan.

Big Torii, shrine gate

Before entering the main shrine, you should rinse your hands and mouth with the water in Temizusha.

purifying hallpurifying hall 2

This is the worship hall.
You cannot see the main hall. Only shinto priest can go in.

worship hall

If you visit Meiji Jingu on weekend, you probably have a chance to see the wedding parade.
There may be a few weddings on weekday, but much more wedding ceremonies take place on Saturday and Sunday.
Wedding must be interesting for you because the new couple wears unique wears and guests also wear traditional kimono.

bride in kimononew couple

wedding parade

After the worship, you can donate ema, pictorial offering to write your wish.
Or you can draw a fortune. You can also buy good-luck charm.

Ema, pictorial offeringsfortune and good-luck charm

If you visit in June, please do not forget to visit Gyoen (Meiji Jingu Garden).
Beautiful garden with many kinds of plants and ponds.
Especially it is famous for its iris flowers.
You can also enjoy azalea in April and red maple leaves in early December.

GyoenGyoen 2
Iris in GyoenIris in Gyoen 2

If you are tired of walking, you can stop by the shops and restaurants near Gyoen.
You can find Japanese traditional crafts and sweets in the shop.

shop and restaurantsJapanese wind bell
Japanese dolls and ornamentsJapanese sweets

The whole area of precinct Meiji Jingu is 700,000m2.
There are much more things inside the precincts.

In Treasure House, you can see the portraits of successive emperors and the furnitures or horse carriage of Emperor Meiji.

Treasure Househorse carriage of Emperor Meiji

You can lay down yourself and relax for a while on the lawn.

It is good idea to spend in Meiji Jingu half day or even whole day to escape from the noisy Metropolis.

If you want to see the different aspect of Harajuku, I will show you in the near future !

Copyright(C) Travel Diary in Tokyo.@All Rights Reserved