On Sunday Mr. Cakes and I spent the afternoon walking around Meiji Jingu Shrine. This shrine is of great importance because it is a memorial to Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. After they both passes away the people of Japan along with some foreign countries donated over 100,000 trees to build a forest on the grounds reserved for the shrine. It was entirely built by volunteers, and in 1920 Meiji Jingu Shrine was completed. Since then the forests have grown to look completely natural. Along with a variety of trees and plants, many animals call this place home.
Just a short walk from the Harajuku stop on the Yamanote line, one can spend a full day enjoying a wonderful break from all the craziness of the city. Shown at the top is one of the entrances with a torii. Tradition says that prior to entering through the torii, one is to bow once. So, we bowed once and then carried on down the path.
There are many architectural details around the shrine. I specifically got caught up on how the paint was used in such a geometric way. The metal work around the Shrine has a lot of hearts, which I admired! But most striking was how well the shrine and grounds are kept. Meiji Shrine is a top tourist attractions for people all around the world! Looking around Mr. Cakes and I were both amazed at the cleanliness and look of the shrine has maintained. Or should I say, the groundskeepers have maintained!
The actual Meiji Shrine is not to be photographed. It is possible to shoot from afar, but once you walk up to give your respects there is no photography allowed. Here is a little snap, right between the broccoli trees is the Shrine.
The rope tied between the two trees is called a Shimenawa. It is said to ward off evil spirits and identify a sacred area.
We had a wonderful time at Meiji Jingu Shrine. In fact we spent the entire day there! The park opens at sunrise and closes at sunset. As soon as the moon peaked out we knew it was time to go. Last snap of the day, and then back to the hustle and bustle of Harajuku!