Meiji Shrine 明治神宮 is a historic shrine located in the Harajuku area. It’s quite interesting that after coming out of the busy Harajuku Station, you see so many people walking around the area, busy traffic, people shopping, it’s a vibrant area. Yet, when you walked into the park, you realized the famous Meiji Shrine is located beside a busy fashion district. Admission to the Meiji Shrine is free.
Meiji Shrine is located inside a large forested-area, surrounded by tall trees and natural landscape. You will first see a sculpted sign indicating that you are about to enter the Meiji area. From the entrance to the Meiji Shrine will take about 15-20 minute walk, but it’s a nice walk. It’s peaceful, a wide sand route, you could hear birds singing, tall trees and just very relaxing. It’s a great walk with children.
Half way through the path, you will see a line of Sake casks, I am not quite sure why they will have all these alcoholic sake casks in the Meiji area, but it’s definitely a social media worthy spot to take photos. If you need a washroom break or need to grab food, there is a cafeteria and a gift shop at this area.
Along the route, it will diverge into a few paths, it has signs to let you decide how you would like to walk around the area. Honestly, whether you choose to take the left or the right path, you will eventually reach the Meiji Shrine, coz it’s a circular path. As I walked further along the path, I saw a display of beautiful flowers exhibits.
Finally, I was at the gate of the Meiji Shrine. There was a water station near the entrance of the gate. It’s not for drinking but it’s for the Japanese customs to pour the water into your hands and wishing good luck from the ancestors.
As I entered the gate and into the shrine, there were a lot of things to see. There is a certain way to bow and pay your respect to the gods and ancestors. Make sure to follow the instruction correctly. No worries, the instructions come in Japanese, English and other languages.
If you want to write some well wishes or goals for yourself, there is a writing station that provides you with pencil, paper and envelope to put into the bin. It’s been a long while for me to hand write a note.
MoVernie TIP #1: When entering in any Temples or Shrines, it’s very important that you pay your respect to the ancestors or the gods. Please be respectful, try to follow the customs and instructions. Be very quiet and don’t let your kids run around or being rowdy. It’s important that when we entered someone’s place, we respect their house rules. Mentally, please be respectful and be relax, open minded to the customs and the cultures. Then you will be fine.
As I walked around the shrine and explored more, I saw a Japanese family dressed in their traditional clothing called “kimono“. Even their children were wearing the kimono, it was quite cool to see the traditional outfits in person.
Meiji Shrine 明治神宮
Address: 1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-8557, Japan