The Meiji Jinju Shrine is one of the most popular shrine in Tokyo near Harajuku Station. The Meiji Shrine is a Shinto Shrine devoted to deified souls of Emperor Meiji and Emperor Shoken. The shrine is considered as one of the most significant to celebrate any festival or ceremonies.
History of the Meiji Shrine
The very first Emperor or King of Japan was quite contributory in opening Japan to the whole world. Emperor Meiji came into power in 1868, accompanying the Meiji Restoration which brought rule of the Tokugawa government at the end. At this time, the Capital was moved from Kyoto to Tokyo.
After the death of the empress and emperor, the Meiji Shrine was planned and constructed to preserve their souls. The shrine was completed by November 1, 1920. During World War II in 1945, the shrine was burned down and was rebuilt by public donations. After the unfortunate incident, the spirit was transferred to the new building on 1958, October 31st.
What to See At Meiji Shrine?
A great place to visit in Tokyo. The place must be added to your list, on your trip to Tokyo. It is truly a peaceful oasis, located in the heart of Japan, Tokyo. The Meiji Shrine is spread on 700,000 square meter forest with around 120,000 evergreen trees. The trees were donated from different part of the world at the time when the shrine was established.
To the left of the shrine’s entrance is Jingu Naien. The Jingu Naien is a beautiful garden designed by the Empress. During June, Empress’ favourite flower are in full bloom. The garden holds around 100 types of irises. At the backside of the gravel path, a second tori the north gate ‘Kita-mon’ arrives at the Honden which is the main hall. The harmonious construction of shrine is topped with a copper roof, which adds more charm to the structure.
Naien is inner zone. It is a centre of the shrine building with treasure museum. The museum article holds valuable articles of Emperor and Empress. The museum is constructed in Azekurazukri style. While, the Gaien is outer zone and includes a Meiji Picture Gallery which holds around 80-huge collection of murals and other illustrative events that occurred in life of the Emperor.
The Meiji Memorial Hall was also used for governmental meetings. The hall was also used for drafting the Meiji Constitution during the late 19th century.
Meji Shrine is also visited by several foreign leaders, like the President of the United States- George Bush, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Events & Festivals
Several weddings are held at the memorial shrine. Folk dances are regularly conducted during festivals or special events.
The biggest function held at the Meiji Shrine is Hatsu-mode which is conducted at the start of the New Year on January 1st and around millions of people pay a visit to the Meiji Shrine.