On the day of our visit, Meiji-Jingu was bustling with numerous weddings (one at the processional stage, others posing for photographs). Mishu told me that the obviously heavy wedding headdresses worn by the brides were designed to hide their horns; apparently the belief is that all women have fox spirits, and during the wedding ceremony could reveal this side of their nature unless it were suppressed by the heavy headgear. We had encountered many people on the walk up to the shrine who were clearly heading for weddings, to judge from their dress and demeanor; the men all wear white ties, and the women's hairstyles and footwear indicated that they were preparing for nuptials. We also noticed the "shrine maidens" who have much in common with vestal virgins; they are young girls in service to the shrine. Some of them, who couldn't have been much older than twelve, were accompanying the bridal processions, wearing bright orange hakama (the wide-legged trousers typically worn by tradesmen).
There were also parents preparing to dedicate their infants. The mothers wear traditional kimono and tabe and the babies are also dressed formally, but the fathers we saw were in business suits.
At Meiji Jingu Shrine you can purchase the wooden votive plaque call Ema and write wishes and prayers. The written plaques hung on rack wooden board under the wishing tree. The wishes and prayers are written in many languages and you can actually read some of the wishes people written.
I am not sure the exact cost, I think it cost around 500 yen for adult and 200 yen for children. I didn’t get to make a wish.
Shrine that dedicated to the deity of Emperor Meiji. Emperor Meiji was the first emperor of modern Japan. The Meiji Shrine was completed in 1920, and rebuilt after being destroyed in World War Two. It is located in a wooded park area next to Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. Various events and festivals are celebrated at the shrine throughout the year.
Meiji Shrine was built dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken for the Japanese people to pay respects and to enshrine their soul. He was the first emperor of modern Japan. He transformed feudal Japan to modern state and joined the world powers. Meiji Shrine was destroyed during Second World War and rebuilt in 1958.
Meiji Shrine was our first introduction to Tokyo. It is a popular tourist destination and visited by many as spiritual, recreation and relaxation. The area is large (175 acres) and it can take few hours to observe the shrine. They are many aspects to see and to understand.
Meiji Shrine is surrounded by forest with many different varieties of trees (365 different species). The trees were donated by people from all over Japan.
The Torii (gates) are usually made from wood. The large Torii gate at Meiji Shrine are built from 1,700 year-old cypress trees and imported from Taiwan.
The Torii gates are very important to Japanese people who are practising Shinto’s. The significant of the Torii gates to the Shinto’s followers is that they must pass under the torii gate. Passing under the gate is to purify the worshippers' hearts and minds before praying to the Kami (Shinto’s gods or spirits). Shinto’s are Japan's major religion alongside Buddhism. The meaning of Shinto is the way of the gods. The Torii gate at Meji Jingu Shrine is decorated with plaque and belongs to Ryobu Shinto which has Buddhism influenced. As for pure Shinto the Torii gates are plain.
Provenance of the Bourgogne Wine for Consecration at Meiji Jingu
"By gaining the good and rejecting what is wrong, it is our desire that we'll compare favourable with other lands abroad"... poem by Emperor Meiji
The Meiji period was an enlightened period during which a policy of "Japanese Spirit and Western Knowledge" was adopted, to learn from the best of Western culture and civilization while keeping Japan's age-old spirit and revered traditions. Emperor Meiji led the way in promoting modernization by embracing many features of western culture in his personal life, such as shearing his topknot and donning western attire, and in many other aspects of daily living. Among these departures, His Majesty set an example by taking western food and in particular by enjoying wine with it.
The barrels of wine to be consecrated at Meji Jingu have been offered by the celebrated wineries of Bourgogne in France on the initiative of Mr. Yasuhiko Sata, Representative, Hourse of Burgundy in Tokyo, Honorary Citizen of Bourgogne and owner of the Chateau de Chailly Hotel-Golf. Profound gratitude is due to the winemakers who have so generously contributed to this precious gift to be consecrated here to the spirit of world peave and amity, with the earnest prayer that France and Japan will enjoy many more fruitful years and friendship.
This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I love the Meiji Shrine. From the impressive wooden arch at the entrance to the peacefulness of the shrine itself, this is the place to go to really experience Japan at its best and most traditional.
From the moment you get there it is a lesson in Japan. The trees that line the area (which were donated by Japanese citizens and others from all over the world) to the wooden bridge and the rituals of purifying yourself before entering the temple, it is something that must be experienced.
You could easily spend a day here going through the shrine, the gardens and the museum. If you are lucky you will get to see a martial arts demonstration at Shiseikan, the traditional home for Japanese Martial Arts, or see a Shinto Monk romaing the grounds.
After you've made your way up the long winding path, eventually you arrive (after another immense torii) at the ranks of Burgundy wine and sake which are dedicated to use at the shrine. The Meiji emperor was apparently the first to introduce red wine drinking in Japan, and many of the vineyards in Bourgogne continue to send tributes.
It was originary compound of the Meiji Shrine. June is the best season to view the flower garden. There are lot more building structure around this area include Meiji Memorial Gallery, Baseball stadium, National Stadium(Olympic stadium).
On the way to the main gate of the shrine, you are actually takes about 5 minutes walk. My advice is to bring some water along as you may need it specially on summer.
Meiji-jingu Shrine is a relatively new shrine in the middle of Yoyogi Kôen Park and one of the most important attractions in Tokyo. It was after the death of Tenno Meiji who was responsible for the modernisation in Japan and therefore one of the most important emperors in Japanese history. The shrine is dedicated to him and his wife and thousands of people go there on New Year's Eve to wish for a prosperous and successful new year. The Ni-No-Torii gate that marks the entrance to the shrine is the largest gate in Japan. Also worth visiting is the Treasure-House close-by which has got goods that belonged to Emperor Meiji and are from the times after the opening of Japan.
The Shrine is open from 5 am until 6.40 pm during summer and from 6.40 am until 4 pm during winter. Entry is free of charge.
Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu) is a shrine dedicated to the the Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. Emperor Meiji was the revered first emperor of modern Japan. He ascended to the throne in 1868 & passed away in 1912. The Meiji Shrine was completed in 1920, but was destroyed in World War Two & rebuilt.
Walking through the wooded, shady grounds towards the shrine, my soul felt at peace and my cares faded away. Outside the shrine, I bought some charms to bless my children and our family and to remind me of this special place.
The Meiji Shrine and its surrounding woodlands is a place for everyone to enjoy.
We visited on a Saturday and I noticed many parents dressed formally bringing their cute as a button young babies (also dressed formally) to be blessed. There was also a coach bringing a newly wed couple and their guests from out of town to snap some photos and to seek blessings at the shrine.
Various events and festivals are celebrated at the Meiji shrine throughout the year. Check out their website for more details.
I was lucky to be there when cultural troupes from the various shopping malls in Tokyo were in competition. The shrine courtyard became a swirl of riotous colours as the various troupes danced and sang in unison after months of practice.
This shrine opened in 1920 has the subdued architectural style and color scheme classical for Shinto architecture. Destroyed during the war, it was rebuilt in the late 1950"s. It is dedicated to the spirit of Emporer Meiji Who took the Japanese throne in 1868 ending centuries of feudal Tokugawa dynasty isolationism. He began the westernization and modernization of the country prior to his death in 1912. The shrine is surrounded by a large beautiful park of the same name, which includes a garden designed by the emporer. The word "jingu" indicates imperial. At each New Year, millions of Japanese come to renew their wishes for happiness and prosperity in the new year. Twice a week ceremonies are held for newborns. Pictured here is the torii at the entrance to the shrine.
From the liquor storage point, it wasn't far to the main shrine. The tradition is to cleanse one's hands and mouth by ceremonially pouring water with a ritual dipper. Then you step to the threshold of the shrine, facing the honden or main building, and bow. The Meiji Shrine is immense, with a huge forecourt.
A visit to the Shrine is interesting, more so, if you are there on a Japanese lucky day [Taian]
It is believed, a marriage consumated on this lucky day, is insured of success, happiness and prosperity.
We saw three weddings and a christening.
At the Shrine, the Shinto priest first holds the purification service of all present. We noticed that it was attended by a small amount of people [members of both families and close relatives & perhaps some elderly friends]
The "San-San-Kudo" or ceremony of the Three-Times-Three Exchange of nuptial cups is performed by the bridegroom and bride, and these days, often an exchange of wedding rings.
The bridegroom and bride proceed to the sanctuary to offer twigs of "Sakaki" sacred tree in worship to gods to end the main part of the wedding ceremony.
"Sake" is drank to signify their union through the wedding, traditional music is played, and the wedding is attended by "Miko" maidens.
We found it to be very solemn, there weren't smiles on the faces of any of the wedding party, so different to our Western style weddings.