Saturday, June 13, 2015

Tokyo's Meiji Shrine

In all the places that we went in the city of Tokyo, my favorite was Meiji Shrine. Known in Japanese as Meiji Jingu, it is dedicated to the souls of Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken. Known as the Emperor of Enlightenment, Emperor Meiji was one of the first to bring the outside world into Japan. He cut off his topknot, wore Western clothes and even enjoyed wine with his dinner. He died in 1912 and she died in 1914. The shrine was begun in 1915 and some 100,000 trees were donated and planted by hand by volunteers. It covers over 700,000 acres in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world. And when you walk into this incredibly calm oasis, you would never know that..




We visited on a midweek February afternoon and the weather was perfect. The shrine, which is a Shinto shrine, is free to visit. You first enter through a Torii  (which marks a Shinto shrine) and begin  a long and meandering walk through the peaceful forest.






One of the first things you come to on your long walk, is a wall of sake barrels on one side and wine barrels on the other. These are donated every year by the Sake Association in Japan and by the wine growers of Bourgogne, France.







You walk under the largest Torii in Japan and continue your walk to the actual grounds of the shrine.


I wish I could convey the quiet, calm and peacefulness that you feel when you are here. The fact that the Harajuku area of Tokyo, one of the busiest shopping areas of the city, is only a few blocks away is amazing.







The Shinto religion is called the ancient Japanese religion because it gels most with the Japanese philosophy of life. It has no founder, no holy book or no religious conversion,. It seeks harmony with nature and a good heart. And it's leaders are said to have a "divine spirit".




My daughter and I paid an offering to the shrine. You must bow twice, clap your hands twice, make a wish (if you like) and bow once again. No photos are allowed near the main buildings and everyone must show reverence while visiting here - no loud talking, eating or drinking.




If you travel to Tokyo and the hustle and bustle of the city start wearing on you, head to Meiji Shrine. It's an oasis of calm and beauty. Don't miss it!





I'm linking up with Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Traveler's Sandbox, Friday Postcards at Walking On Travels,Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner  and Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute  so travel over and check them out!

8 comments:

  1. What a beautiful and peaceful place! I have always wanted to visit one of these shrines. When I was growing up, my mom had shrine pictures in an area of the living room. I think my desire to visit is related to those pictures.

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    1. It really is beautiful and peaceful - I hope you get a chance to visit it someday!

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  2. Beautiful shrine. That huge first photo is really striking. Do people get to drink the donated sake?
    #wkendtravelinspiration

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    1. Thanks Rhonda! And I'm not sure about the sake - but if no one drinks it, it would be a shame!

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  3. Japan is high on my bucket list! Although I mostly want to visit Tokyo I know I will fall in love will all those beautiful shrines!

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    1. They are beautiful Anna! Hope you make it there someday!

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  4. I loved my visit here. Lovely set of shots. (BTW...I have a very difficult time commenting on your blog. For some reason the first comment never gets posted, and I have to type the comment again. My original comment was much longer.)

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    1. Thanks for visiting and sticking with the commenting! There was an issue the other day that I thought was resolved - I'll check into it again.

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