MEIJI JINGU SHRINE
Meiji Jingu Shrine is a popular and picturesque Japanese Shinto shrine. Meiji Jingu Shrine is located in Tokyo, Japan near Harajuku Station (Harajuku) and Yoyogi Park.
Meiji Jingu Shrine (明治神宮) is one of the most popular shrines in Tokyo and is a must see for anyone visiting Tokyo. Not only is this shrine easy to access via train to Harajuku Station, it is also right next to the very popular and fashionable Harajuku. This makes it easy to string together a visit to central Shibuya, Harajuku and Meiji Jingu Shrine all in a day or an afternoon if you really rush it.
Picture: The central sanctuary where the Meiji emperor is enshrined.
Meiji Jingu Shrine is a great contrast to the hustle and noise of Tokyo with the forest of 120,000 evergreen trees blocking out the noise of the city. The forest of 365 different species of trees covers an impressive 700,000 square-meters (about 175 acres).
Meiji Jingu Shrine is dedicated to the souls of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. The shrine was built in a garden area where Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken sometimes visited before their deaths in 1912 and 1914 respectively. Meiji Jingu Shrine was built after this, in the Nagarezukuri style, constructed mainly with Japanese cypress from Kiso. Japanese cypress is generally considered the best timber in Japan.
The shrine grounds consist of two areas:
- Naien, or the inner precinct/garden, centred on the
shrine buildings, which include a treasure museum that houses articles of
the Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. The treasure museum is built in
the Azekurazukuri style.
- Gaien, or the outer precinct/garden, which includes the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery that houses a collection of 80 large murals illustrative of the events in the lives of the Emperor Meiji and his consort. It also includes a variety of sports facilities, including the National Stadium, and is seen as the centre of Japanese sports. It also includes the Meiji Memorial Hall, which was originally used for governmental meetings, including discussions surrounding the drafting of the Meiji Constitution in the late 19th century. Today it is used for Shinto weddings (traditional Japanese weddings).
As Meiji Jingu Shrine is an active Shinto shrine it is
possible to see Shinto wedding parties parading through the inner ground of
the shrine. This is an amazing sight to see with the bride in the
traditional Japanese wedding
kimono (Uchikake), shrine maidens,
Shinto priests and the wedding party with the women wearing gorgeous
kimono. Indeed on my last visit to
Meiji Jingu Shrine I was lucky enough to see two wedding parties.
See more pictures of Meiji Jingu Shrine.
accommodation near the Harajuku Tokyo?
The closest hotels to Harajuku are located around Shibuya Station and on the same train line.
Author: Craig Fryer