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!