About the Shrine in Tokyo
Meiji Shrine in the Harajuku quarter in the center of Tokyo is the Shinto Temple, the common religion in Japan. It is a national symbol established in 1920 and named after Emperor Meiji, the Japanese emperor of the 19th century who is considered the modern father of Japan.
But the Shrine of Meiji, known and famous for its New Year's Day celebrations, is an active and vibrant temple. In particular, you can see it on Sundays, when masses of people visit the 1,000-acre compound.
The temple serves for quite a few traditional wedding ceremonies, in the Japanese style. If you see a ceremony while you are here, you will enjoy seeing family relatives in a traditional kimono, and the men in Western suits.
The temple complex includes beautiful gardens, which blossom in June, during the season of the iris. In fact, the temple is located in Yoyogi Park in the young and colorful Harajuku district. It is said here that the rich vegetation is based on excellent contributions by pilgrimage to the most important temple in Japan for Shinto believers.
Even though you do not believe, before entering the Temple, cleanse yourself on the beautiful trough in front of the entrance. Rub some water on your hands and rinse your mouth with the metal cups. Now you are pure, and ready to enter into the Shine.
At the entrance to the temple itself there are special tables at which the Japanese throw a coin, for donations. They then clap hands to draw the attention of the gods. Even after prayer, it is customary to clap and announce that the prayer is over.
About the Shinto religionThis Shinto Shrine was built in 1920. It is especially famous for the New Year's day celebrations that have been going on here for many years. The Temple is a pilgrimage site and the rich vegetation surrounding it is entirely the fruit of donations from pilgrims.
Shinto, the basic religion of Japan, was once the religion of the state here. Today it is subject to the individual's decision.
Shinto shrines will be found everywhere in Japan. These temples are often erected to indicate mountains, rivers, forests, waterfalls and other natural phenomena, which are especially good and beautiful.
TipsAfter visiting the temple complex on Sunday morning, head to the Yoyogi Koen Park and watch the young and colorful, sometimes even wild and youthful street fashion of Tokyo's youth. Among the colorful youngsters in their clothing, hair and makeup, you can also enjoy intriguing street performances.