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Meiji shrine

Meiji shrine is a super cool Shintō shrine located in the area of Shibuya in the middle of a forested park. I adore its colors, cypress brown and copper green.

It was built from 1915 to 1921 to commemorate Emperor Meiji, under whose reign Japan opened itself to the west. The emperor and empress are enshrined here but their graves are in Kyoto, I hear (I don’t know what enshrined means). A plaque at the entrance informs us that “the feelings of reverence and yearning of the people for the Emperor and Empress are ever increasing.”

Of course it got burned down in World War II, when the whole city was still mostly made of wood and thus readily burned when bombarded with incendiary bombs. Rebuilding of the shrine was completed in 1958.

The shrine, its surrounding forest, and nearby Yoyogi park are something of a green lung to the city and popular with tourists and Tokyoites alike.

The shrine is also very popular for weddings. So popular in fact that it would be nearly impossible to visit the shrine and not see a wedding procession or newly weds posing for photos.


Meiji shrine and Yoyogi park as seen from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.


People flowing into the nearby Harajuku station on the Yamanote line


Barrels of sake donated to the shrine


Barrels of wine donated to the shrine


Plaque next to the wine




Woman posing for her son


Main yard. People leave their prayers on the racks underneath the tree.




Wedding ceremony



  1. Hansa says

    Wow, loved your post. Depicting all these different aspects of the Shrine almost made me feel as if I’ve actually been there.


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