Tokyo: Meiji Shrine

After going to the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, I made my way to the Meiji Shrine. While doing research, this shrine was listed as one of the top things to see in Tokyo. It’s apparently dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife. He was the first emperor of modern Japan and is well-known for helping to modernize and westernize Japan; essentially “opening Japan to the West“.

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These large barrels are actually full of sake and are quite large. They have been donated by sake businesses. The sake barrels are supposed to be for Emperor Meiji but also to bring good luck and prosperity to the sake industry which is a critical part of Japan’s economy.Meiji 2Meiji 3Meiji Combo 4

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When you enter the main shrine building complex, you are encouraged to rinse your mouth and hands with water. This is asked to be done out of respect.Meiji 6Meiji 7

Isn’t this roof one of the prettiest things you’ve ever seen? Can you imagine crafting each piece of wood just right and then fitting them all together in this pattern like a puzzle?Meiji 8Meiji Combo 3

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This is an area (below) where you can give an offering of coins. I stood there for a few minutes watching people and each person was very quiet and reverent as they came up the stairs to this offering place. As people got closer, they threw coins into a large depository, bowed twice, clapped twice, and bowed once again before walking away.

Meiji 10On the right below is a photo of wishes. For a few yen, a wooden tablet can be purchased. On this, is where you should write your wish. You can either take the tablet home with you or hang it on one of the hooks as seen below.Meiji Combo 2Meiji 12

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Meiji 13 After wandering through the park for a good hour or two, I made my way out and through a gift shop where I found some great gifts for my husband: chopsticks and a headband with Japanese characters stating “Warrior”. 

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