Meiji Jingu Shrine

Feel the mystical energy of the Meiji Shrine

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Meiji Shrine is located in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. A large number of visitors from all over Japan come for “hatsumode” or the first shrine visit of the New Year. On the day of your visit, you can catch a glimpse of a traditional wedding ceremony if you’re lucky.
Business Hours

from dawn to dusk
Meiji Jingu, 1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
(03) 3379-5511

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Meiji Jingu

Every New Year’s Day on ‘hatsumode’, Meiji Jingu, which is over 700,000 square meters in size, receives around 3 million worshippers, reflecting its ability to attract the greatest amount of visitors in the nation. Considering the amount of lush greenery located inside the perimeters of Meiji Jingu, it is hard to believe that it is located in the same vicinity as bustling commercial centers such as Harajuku, Omotesando and Shibuya. To reach the shrine from JR Harajuku station is a mere 5 minutes away and one could easily even reach it on foot from the above mentioned areas. Many people have become interested in Japanese religions such as Shintoism as a result of references to them in famous movies such as ‘My Neighbour Totoro’ and other Ghibli animated movies. Naturally, this has sparked the motivation of many sightseers to pay a visit to Meiji Jingu. In Japan, regardless of your religion, feel free to visit during the New Year. As well, experience the customs and culture of the Japanese people visiting this place as a power spot.

A Popular ‘Power spot’

Meiji Shrine is also known as a prime location to view the beautiful irises which blossom in the summertime from June to August. Furthermore, Meiji Shrine is known to be a power spot and has resultantly attracted many young women who wish to benefit from these powers. For example, the large camphor tree that has been standing since the Taisho Period outside the ge-haiden hall of worship, is a popular power spot visited by for those who wish to gain marital harmony and family safety.

And if you have time, you may also be able to witness a Japanese wedding ceremony. Generally speaking, visitors can see a Shinto ceremony in which the bride and groom declare to the gods that they will become a couple and contribute to society. The majestic wedding procession with the bride in white being led by a Shinto priest and shrine maidens and the groom in a kimono provides a snapshot of genuine Japanese culture.

The Way of Worship

In Japan, there is a special set way on how to pay worship when visiting a shrine. Standing at the entranceway of the shrine is a large arch called a ‘torii’, a traditional Japanese gate that symbolizes the entry into a sacred space. Although Meiji Shrine has many of these torii gates around its grounds, one of the wooden gates has gained recognition as the largest in the country. Beyond the torii gates is a walkway leading to the shrine, known as a sando. It is the path which the gods walk, and so visitors should take care not to walk in the middle of this sacred path.

Located within close view of the shrine is the chozu, where worshippers coming in from the ‘outer world’ should cleanse their hands and mouths with the water in the basin. When partaking in the purification process, there is a standard way to proceed. First, with the ladle, you should wash the left and right hands and then rinse your mouth with water in your left hand. Once you finish, you should wash your left hand again. It is after completing this process that visitors can continue on to the worship hall, bow and throw in money into the offering box. In the Japanese language, 5 yen (go-en) sounds similar to the words for ‘destiny’ and ‘fate’, and for that reason, worshippers should offer this specific coin for the best luck. Once the money is thrown, you should bow twice and clap twice, then bow once again; after the second clap make sure to make your wish.

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The entrance to Meiji Shrine South Gate is a three minute walk from Harajuku Station. Exit Harajuku Station, and turn right. Follow the path for about one minute, until your reach a large concrete bridge that crosses the tracks of the Yamanote Line. Cross the bridge, and on your right hand side you will see a torii gate shrouded by trees. This is the entrance to Meiji Shrine. Alternatively, Meiji Shrine South Gate can be reached from Meiji Jingu Mae Station. Take JR Exit 2, leave the elevator, and the entrance to Meiji Shrine will be directly in front of you.

From Tokyo Station to Harajuku Station:
Take the Yamanote Line direct to Harajuku Station (30 minutes, ¥170)
From Shinjuku Station to Harajuku Station:
Take the Yamanote Line direct to Harajuku Station (4 minutes, ¥140)

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7 years ago
Urban Oasis
Just across the bridge next to Harajuku station, you will see the magnificent Torii gates. Go though this and you will feel like a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The shrine itself is also impressive. Learn from Japanese and give a prayer of good luck! If you are lucky, you can see the traditional Japanese Shinto wedding ceremony here.
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7 years ago
For a nice cool walk in the summer
The Meji jingu shrine is located right next to Harajuku and its station. It is a very nice and cooling walk (especially in the summer), because the trees give lots of shade, from the entrance to the actual shrine. During my time in Japan I've visited several time since I wanted to show my friends who were visiting as well and the place just never bores me. I like it because it is right in the city and a beautiful symbol of Tokyo to many visitors.
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7 years ago
A small bit of paradise
I really love Meiji Shrine and I feel I can always go there every time I am close by, even tho I have been there so many times before. Especially during summer is a breath of fresh air whenever you enter through the main gate, and walk the path filled with beautiful nature. The shrine architecture is also very beautiful and it always manages to make me fell i came back in time! I feel also very luck whenever I can see a traditional Japanese groom and bride passing by the temple! I always look forward to Meiji's emperor poetry bits that you can get there!
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8 years ago
Tranquility and raucousness sit side by side
Meiji Shrine sits next to JR Harajuku Station, near the bustling Takeshita Dori st., young fashionista’s haunt in Tokyo. You wouldn’t believe your eyes that such a tranquil place is adjacent to one of the Tokyo’s busiest town of Harajuku. Step inside the shrine premise, you will feel sacred spirit in the air. As you proceed towards the main shrine, the holy atmosphere increases. After offering prayer at the shrine, other attractions such as Yoyogi Park, Yoyogi Olympic Gymnasium, and Omotesando, Tokyo’s trendiest town, are within walking distance.
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8 years ago
A place to relax in a busy city
After being surrounded by buildings all day, it is a delightful break to walk from Harajuku station to the Meiji jingu shrine. Since many other people be on their way to the shrine, you can easily follow them. Sometimes you are lucky and see a traditional wedding walking inside the shrine, which is an amazing experience of Japanese culture.
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9 years ago
Ninja Gaiden
If you ever played that game then this place will feel just like it. This shrine is very big filled with trees, giant crows, people having a traditional Japanese style wedding, and many ways to clean your sins. They have a pretty good food place that serves some ice cream. Filled with tourist shops and nature this place can be a little overwhelming in a good way, the bigger the better. Just don't get lost....Or eaten by a giant crow
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9 years ago
A relaxing place for an afternoon stroll
Meiji Shrine is a great place for a stroll. The path is shrouded by trees and is incredibly relaxing. The sheer size of the torii gates are impressive, and the shrine itself often hosts many events all year round. The are numerous little distractions within the shrine grounds, ponds, gardens, and even a treasure museum.
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