We visited the Meiji Shrine on our second day in Tokyo. The shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji, the first modern emperor of Japan, and his wife Empress Shoken.
The Meiji Shrine is located in between the Harajuku and Yoyogi stations. We decided to enter the shrine from the Harajuku side on a Sunday. Getting out of the station felt like we’d arrived in the most hustling-bustling part of Tokyo. There was hardly any space for us to walk towards the shrine. After what felt like an eternal struggle, we finally made it to the torii at the entrance.
Meiji Shrine – A Dense Forest & A Beautiful Shrine
As we walked towards the shrine from the Harajuku entrance, we felt transported to another world. A long winding path down a forest was a complete departure from the noise, people and shops just on the outside. Getting to the shrine took about 10-15 minutes which should give you an idea of how long the forested path really was. After passing by numerous toriis, we arrived at the point of ablution. By now we were so far away from the noise that we’d forgotten we were in Tokyo.
As we entered the main shrine complex we witnessed a small procession in front of us. I thought it was part of a wedding ceremony, but I could be wrong.
Meiji Shrine – Inner Garden
After saying our prayers, we decided to enter the shrine’s inner garden. The entry to the Meiji Shrine is free, but not to its inner garden. Once again we were witness to a perfectly manicured Japanese garden. In the garden, we noticed a group of people feeding birds (despite the “do not feed birds” sign). Anything for a good photo opportunity, I guess.
The inner garden is actually famous for its Kiyomasa’s Well. The small well, which is a wonder of engineering, is named after a military commander who dug it around 400 years ago. The crystal clear water flows out of it at such an even rate that it appears absolutely still! The well was visited by the Emperor and Empress while they were alive and has become a popular spiritual “power spot”.
Hope you enjoyed these photos of the Meiji Shrine and its inner garden.