Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu) is just a short walk from Harajuku station. Those who visit the shrine at New Year boast that it is the best shrine in the whole of Japan. The shrine proudly holds its reputation as a famous tourist spot, originally built to honour the spirits of the Meiji Emperor and his wife Empress Dowager Shoken.
Walking around the busy city, you really would not expect to suddenly encounter such a deep forest that contains a majestic shrine. The location also offers a famous well that is the perfect power spot, and many cafés that will make your heart glow with warmth. Join Elly-chan as she explores the wonderful city oasis of Meiji Shrine.
Starting point: Café Morinoterasu (社のテラス)
Just a one-minute walk from JR Harajuku station or Tokyo Metro Meiji Jingu-ma station lies the glorious Meiji Shrine. You can also easily access the shrine from Shibuya as it is just one stop away. Here, at the heart of the city, you’ve finally reached a calm oasis. It’s no surprise that it’s a popular tourist spot.
Morinoterasu café is located before the large and mighty Meiji Shrine torii gate, which is the first gate that leads to the shrine. The café is united with nature and will sweep you away with peace and tranquility. This is the first stop for our adventure!
You can feel the warmth of the trees inside the café. The counters and chairs were made from old, withering trees on the shrine grounds. Japanese zelkova wood, evergreen oak, Japanese oak, camphorwood or wood from a sakura tree?
Look out for the names of the types of trees used to make the furniture as they are discreetly carved into the wood.
The menu includes Morinoterasu’s special limited éclairs and croissants that are prepared every day for the famous Meiji Kinenkan (Meiji Memorial Hall). These make for the perfect light snack.
Before or after exploring the shrine, extend the exploration to your taste buds! How about treating yourself to a thirst-quenching cup of coffee or a soft drink, or the creative tofu milk gelato?
The symbol of Meiji Shrine: The Otorii
Enter the Harajuku entrance and you will be faced with the second shrine entrance – a large, wooden myojin-torii . (Large shrine gate) This is the symbol of Meiji Shrine.
Being Japan’s largest shrine gate, there’s no wonder that the countless numbers of visitors taking commemoration photos here never die out. Japanese Cypress tree bark was used to make the torii shrine gate 1,500 years ago. Take a closer look and you’ll be blown away!
Enter the Harajuku entrance and you will be faced with the second shrine entrance – a large, wooden myojin-torii . (Large shrine gate) This is the symbol of Meiji Shrine. Being Japan’s largest shrine gate, there’s no wonder that the countless numbers of visitors taking commemoration photos here never die out.
Japanese Cypress tree bark was used to make the torii shrine gate 1,500 years ago. Take a closer look and you’ll be blown away!
As soon as visitors arrive at the shrine, they are greeted with a poem created by the Meiji Emperor, which is posted for all to see. The true elegance of Japanese culture can be felt through the words. Usually, shrines have boxes of “omikuji”, from which visitors are invited to pull out a strip of paper. Each of these paper strips contains a unique fortune such as “kichi” which means “lucky”, or “daikichi” which is even luckier!
These are followed by a commentary. However at Meiji Shrine, these are replaced by poems written by the Meiji Emperor and Empress Dowager Shoken in order to honour their spirits.
>>next page Go to the power spot
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