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If you're looking for a peaceful escape from the bustling streets of Tokyo, Meiji Jingu is the perfect destination. Located in Shibuya City, this Shinto shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. Let's explore the captivating beauty and historical significance of Meiji Jingu.
As you step into the shrine grounds, you'll be greeted by a massive torii gate, marking the entrance to a tranquil forest. Meiji Jingu is surrounded by approximately 100,000 trees, donated from regions across Japan during its construction. The lush greenery creates a serene atmosphere, providing a much-needed respite from the city's hustle and bustle.
Emperor Meiji, the first emperor of modern Japan, played a pivotal role in the country's transformation during the Meiji Restoration. Completed in 1920, Meiji Jingu was built to honor his memory and that of Empress Shoken. Although the shrine was destroyed during World War II, it was quickly rebuilt, preserving its historical significance.
Take a leisurely stroll along the walking paths within the shrine grounds. The spacious area offers a peaceful retreat, allowing visitors to connect with nature and reflect in tranquility. You can also participate in traditional Shinto activities, such as making offerings at the main hall, purchasing charms and amulets, or writing your wishes on an ema.
Adjacent to the shrine entrance, you'll find the Meiji Jingu Museum, designed by renowned architect Kuma Kengo. Opened in 2019, the museum showcases treasures from the shrine's collection, including personal belongings of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. Don't miss the opportunity to see the carriage used by the emperor during the formal declaration of the Meiji Constitution in 1889.
For a small entrance fee, you can explore the Inner Garden, located in the southern section of the shrine grounds. This picturesque garden is particularly enchanting in mid-June when vibrant irises bloom. As you wander through the garden, make sure to visit Kiyomasa's Well, a historic well named after the military commander who dug it around 400 years ago.
Meiji Jingu is a popular destination throughout the year, attracting millions of visitors during the first days of the New Year for hatsumode, the year's first prayers. If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting on weekdays or during the off-peak seasons. Regardless of when you go, Meiji Jingu offers a serene and captivating experience.
Meiji Jingu is a hidden gem in the heart of Shibuya City, Tokyo. Its lush forest, historical significance, and tranquil atmosphere make it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a break from the city's fast-paced energy. Immerse yourself in the rich history, explore the shrine grounds, and discover the beauty of Meiji Jingu.
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