Travel Diaries 014: A Day At Meiji Shrine, Tokyo




Meiji Shrine, Meiji Jingu, Tokyo, Japan, Travel, Asia, Nature, Bramble and Thorn

Of all the incredible facets of Tokyo, one of the most impressive is that despite the density of the city, there are numerous, enormous parks and gardens everywhere. It's amazing! After a day of exploring and shopping in Tokyo, a walk through a quiet park and shrine is the perfect way to relax. Luckily, one of the largest (and most popular) happens to reside next to Harajuku station - I'm referring, of course, to Meiji Shrine (or Meiji JingÅ«). 

Meiji Shrine, Meiji Jingu, Tokyo, Japan, Travel, Asia, Nature, Bramble and Thorn

Meiji Shrine, Meiji Jingu, Tokyo, Japan, Travel, Asia, Nature, Bramble and Thorn

Meiji Shrine, Meiji Jingu, Tokyo, Japan, Travel, Asia, Nature, Bramble and Thorn

The main shrine area is a ten minute walk from the southern entrance near Harajuku Station. The entrance into the shrine grounds is clearly marked by a massive torii gate, after which the sights and sounds of the busy city are replaced by a tranquil forest. The 100,000 trees that make up Meiji Shrine's forest were planted during the shrine's construction and were donated from regions across the entire country. It's truly surreal, walking through a quiet forest in the middle of Tokyo. You can't even see the skyscrapers from inside the park!

Meiji Shrine, Meiji Jingu, Tokyo, Japan, Travel, Asia, Nature, Bramble and Thorn

Meiji Shrine, Meiji Jingu, Tokyo, Japan, Travel, Asia, Nature, Bramble and Thorn

Meiji Shrine, Meiji Jingu, Tokyo, Japan, Travel, Asia, Nature, Bramble and Thorn

The whole area is incredibly beautiful, it's hard to believe the chaos of Harajuku is just a few meters away. This shrine is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. The spacious shrine grounds offer walking paths that are great for a relaxing stroll. After slowly meandering through the grounds, I ended up at the main shrine. It's a gorgeous pavilion, and more often than not there's a wedding taking place so you'll catch a glimpse of some gorgeous traditional clothing. Just make sure to ask permission before taking someone's photo, it's not polite to stalk someone paparazzi-style. 

Meiji Shrine, Meiji Jingu, Tokyo, Japan, Travel, Asia, Nature, Bramble and Thorn

Meiji Shrine, Meiji Jingu, Tokyo, Japan, Travel, Asia, Nature, Bramble and Thorn

You can pay to write your wishes on little wooden boards that are hung in this area of the shrine. 

Meiji Shrine, Meiji Jingu, Tokyo, Japan, Travel, Asia, Nature, Bramble and Thorn

Meiji Shrine, Meiji Jingu, Tokyo, Japan, Travel, Asia, Nature, Bramble and Thorn

I also payed an extra ¥500 to gain access to Kiyomasa's Well and a lovely garden area. It was very secluded and wonderful to stroll through at a leisurely pace. 

Kiyomasa's Well itself was...a little small? I was expecting some kind of enormous well, considering you paid entry to see it, but it was quite tiny! Apparently it was named after a feudal warlord who constructed it during the early 17th century. Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken frequently visited Kiyomasa’s Well during their lifetimes. Because of this connection with the past, the well has become something of a pilgrimage spot for many people.

After a long day of shopping and sightseeing, this was the most wonderful way to finish the day before heading off to an Izakaya for dinner.

Meiji Shrine, Meiji Jingu, Tokyo, Japan, Travel, Asia, Nature, Bramble and Thorn

Meiji Shrine, Meiji Jingu, Tokyo, Japan, Travel, Asia, Nature, Bramble and Thorn

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