Meiji-Jingu shrine 明治神宮
To access the Meiji-jingu shrine, you have to cross a wooden hundred thousand trees and go under the large torii.
Meiji-jingu shrine is a testament to the recognition of Japanese Emperor Meiji (1852-1912) and his wife, Empress Shôken (1849-1914).
Less crowded than Senso-ji, Meiji Shrine remains an active place of worship.
Tribute to Meiji
Isolated in a wooded setting in the heart of Tokyo, the Meiji-Jingu is a pearl of Shinto worship, and at the center of Tokyoite cultural life.
The Meiji-Jingu is probably one of the most symbolic shrines of Tokyo. Located in Yoyogi Park in Shibuya, it was completed in November 1920 in honor of Emperor Meiji (1852-1912) and his wife, Empress Shôken (1849-1914). It is a token of the recognition of Japanese people to the emperor, of which the most obvious example is the wooded park that surrounds it. It has over one hundred thousand trees sent by residents of the entire archipelago to honor the memory of Emperor Meiji.
This sanctuary of Shinto worship consists of various buildings including the lastest, the Kaguraden, a room for music and dancing, dating from 1990. To get to the santuary, you must cross the wood that surrounds it and go under the magnificent cypress wood gate, the torii, which stands at the threshold of the complex.
The Meiji-Jingu is a religious site, which is still in use today and where it is not uncommon to see weddings. Some principles of etiquette are worth respecting, such as cleansing the body with water or saluting the torii, and can be found on the official website of the sanctuary.
Pray for Meiji
Once inside the Meiji-jingu, waka, a form of Japanese poetry composed by the emperor and his wife, and of which they were particularly fond, are offered to visitors. Kikanbun forms, letters to the deities (Kami) and ema, wooden tablets bearing wishes, are available to all, in exchange for a contribution to the ema, before being recovered by the priests, who then address the messages to khaki.
The Meiji-Jingu is nice to visit during the week as it is fairly quiet and not very busy compared to Tokyo's temples such as Senso-ji .