The Meiji Shrine is probably the best example of a Shinto Shrine in Tokyo. Like most things in Tokyo, it had to be reconstructed after the World War II bombings, but it still retains that old Japan feel. That's probably because everything, including the huge torii gate, is constructed out of cypress in a city where almost everything else is concrete or metal.
...The shrine was constructed in 1920 to honor the Emperor Meiji, under whom power was centralized for the first time in centuries. Before Emperor Meiji, the emperor reigned in Kyoto while the real power was held by warlords or Samaurai in Kamakura or Edo (present day Tokyo). After the shock of Commadore Perry's Black Ships, the isolated Japanese ruling class decided they had to do something dramatic to avoid the fate of China so power was restored to the Emperor (the Meiji Restoration) and centralized in Tokyo. Then an amazing westernization and modernization effort to become Asia's pre-eminient power. The construction of this shrine was likely both an effort to commemorate and perpetuate that political revolution.
...The shrine is still important to the spiritual life of Tokyo's people, even if he Emperor no longer has divine power. People still come here to pray, marry, pass their 7th birthday, etc.
Meiji Jingu is a Shinto shrine located in Yoyogi Park. Shinto is Japan's ancient original religion and it reflects in Japanese life. Shinto has no founder, no holy book and no concept of religious conversion, but Shinto values harmony with nature and virtues such as a sincere heart "Magokoro". This shrine is dedicated to the divine souls of Emperor Meiji and his consort Empress Shoken. After Emperor Meiji passed away in 1912 and Empress Shoken in 1914, Japanese people donated 100000 trees from all over Japan and overseas and they worked voluntarily to create this forest which surrounds the shrine. Thanks to sincere heart of Japanese, the shrine was established on 1 November 1920.
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.
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.
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.
We wanted to experience a little traditional Japanese culture in our short time in Tokyo and thought best to do it at the Meiji Jingu shrine. We ended up paying to get into the garden which in my opinion was a bit of a waste of time and money when the shrine we wanted to see was round the corner and free.
Its a fairly peaceful area but we didn't spend too long here as it was pouring with rain.
We thought that while in Tokyo it would be nice to visit one shrine so as we were planning on going to Harajuku we decided that the Meiji Jingu would be ideal. As we walked into the area we saw an entrance on our left and a little hut selling tickets. We bought two tickets for the garden and proceeded to walk about looking for the shrine. We walked and looked and got lost. No shrine. We later found out that the shrine wasn't in the garden, it was straight on round the corner, not left as we had gone.
If you like gardens you might like the Meiji Jingu, but I personally found walking around in the rain a waste of our precious time in Tokyo. We can't read or speak Japanese so ended up wandering round in circles trying to find something that wasn't there in the first place!
You could spend 500 Yen to get a wooden block, wrote down your prayers and hang it up. Alternatively, you could write your prayers on a piece of paper provided, place it into the envelope and drop it into the box. The latter option is free.
There is a stall outside the shrine which sells little amulets (example: for good luck in examinations, for traffic safety, etc).
The Meiji Shrine is a Shinto shrine, dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shôken. When Emperor Meiji died in 1912 and Empress Shôken in 1914, the Japanese wished to pay their respects to these two influential Japanese figures. Thus, the shrine was built and their souls were enshrined in 1920.
The shrine is located in a large forest, and many people visit the forest and the shrine during the New Year holidays.
It is a man-made but no t originally designed to attract tourist.
This perfect example of Shinto architecture--muted colors and spare lines--was opened in 1920 to commemorate the death of Emperor Meiji in 1912. Surrounded by 72 hectares of shady trees and various Japanese flora of the Meiji Jingu Park, it is one of Japan's most sacred and picturesque shrines. The Imperial Treasury House annex exhibits mementos, including the coronation carriage, of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.
The Meiju Jingu Shrine is a Shinto shrine established on 1 Nov 1920. It was built for the Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. The Emperor died in 1912 and 2 years later the Empress died too. To commemorate their virtures, Japanese from all over the country donated 100,000 tress to creat a forest. You will have to take a long walk on pebbles that leads to this sacred place of worship.
At the temple entrance, you will need to rinse your hands at the stone basin at the Temizusha, before entering the temple ground. You may put coins in the offering box, bow twice, clap your hands twice, bow again to pay your respect and make your wish.